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‘Plantation Set’ Fete

By Lanier Laney

April 28, 2011

Photographer David Soliday with hosts Day and Jock Cowperthwaite

The Lowcountry of South Carolina and the Hunt Country of Virginia are as about as close as America can get to the great English country house tradition of the landed aristocracy of England, and they pursue all the same activities–shooting, fox hunts,  & horses and caretake vast estates with beautiful historic homes.  It makes sense as this area was actually part of England at one time.  The thousand acre plantations that still ring Beaufort today are the result, for the most part of wealthy Northern families buying them up in the 1930′s for hunt property and many of those descendants are still the owners today along with some southern families.   This ‘Plantation Set’ as I like to call them,  share many activities together, like group hunting trips to Argentina and England, as well as countless oyster roasts  in the fall and winter.  They also share a love of the open lands and history of the Lowcountry and  work tirelessly to preserve it through organizations like The Open Land Trust.

Bonny Hall Plantation

   The Penn Center believes that Soliday’s collection represents one of the most tangible examples of the contributions made by generations of enslaved African Americans to American society. “The physical monuments of these rice fields are like the Egyptian pyramids, which symbolize the physical heritage of a nation’s history and are a testament to the survivability of an enslaved people”.

Soliday, a photographer/writer whose include both work for National Geographic and The Smithsonian is printing and selling his photos on canvas and framing them with beautiful gold leaf frames.  They have a haunting beauty that blurs the region between painting and photography.  To see more, go to www.davidsoliday.com/rice

Charleston's Gail Morrill & Jock Cowperthwaite

Charlotte & Chris Beebe

Foster, Bobby, and Elise Marshall

J.D. and Rita Igleheart

Lynne Rossetti & Twylih Kerr

Margaret Rushton & Jim Holden

Mollie Fair & Laura Trask

Peggy Peyton & daughter Sarah Sanford Rauch

Jackie Moore

Susie O'Brien

Woody Kerr

David Soliday & Erika Marshall

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Carlotta Ungaro Good-bye Party at Tidalholm

A beautiful breeze off the water, perfect temp, a gorgeous porch, no bugs, and an apricot pink sunset behind the oaks made Carlotta Ungaro‘s going away party one of the most cinematically perfect moments I can think of of life in the Lowcountry. It was apropos because two iconic movies were filmed at Tidelhom, Hilda Holstein’s beautiful home–The Great Santini and The Big Chill and where Carlotta lived (in the guest house) when she first came to Beaufort to assume the job of head of the Chamber of Commerce. Life had come full circle as now she was leaving after 5 years of working hard on behalf of  promoting Beaufort to the world to go on to a new job in the Raleigh Durham area as the new Chamber Head of Wilkesboro (the fastest growing metropolitan area in America) according to a recent Time Magazine article. I spoke with Carlotta and she talked about how much she has loved the people of Beaufort and believes passionately in the chamber’s work here. Husband Maurice is selling his Sea Island Bike Tour business to accompany Carlotta to N.C. If interested call 843-441-2765 or email: mauriceu@me.com.

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Cocktails on a yacht, watching the Air Show? What could be better?

Would you like to spend the day on the glamorous vintage yacht Enticer watching the Air Show and also raise money for the MUSC Children’s Hospital?

Here’s the invite:

Please join us aboard Enticer for lunch and the Beaufort Air Show to benefit & learn more about the MUSC Children’s Hospital (Lunch, beer, wine & soft drinks included!) $100 per person, $150 per couple,  Checks payable to MUSC Children’s Hospital  Saturday April 30th, 2011

Departing from Lady’s Island Marina Leaving the dock at 12:00 pm sharp! Returning by 4:00 pm Rain or Shine.

Organizing committee:Elizabeth & Earl McMillen, Laura Dukes, Louise & Stuart Coleman, Marjorie & Herb Gray,  plus Anne & Shannon Lindsay.

R.s.v.p. em@woodenyachts.com


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Beautiful Pink Ice Ball at Lyceum

By Lanier Laney

April 21, 2011

2011 Pink Ice Committee

Now in it’s 15th year, Nu Delta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.  held it’s annual ‘Pink Ice Ball‘ at the Lyceum on Parris Island.

Over 406 people attended this elegant event with all funds raised to be used to create scholarships for deserving high school students at 7 area high schools in Beaufort & Jasper county.

Congratulations to the hardworking committee, Romona Gaither, Lottie Miles, Deborah Moore, Gwen Jones, Thelma Lewis, Maxine Stevenson, Bessie Clarke, Alvesta Robertson, Karis Clarke, Veronica Miller, Darlene Wilborn, Hestelle Quiovers, and Rosalind Hollis, Chair Constance Gardner and Co Chair Laura Carter and President Dionne Young and all the volunteers who created such a beautiful and successful event!  Here are some photos.

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The Titanic Party

By Lanier Laney

April 21, 2011

Hosts Brad and Dusty welcome guests aboard ship

Over 110 people attended this year’s black tie and costumes Titanic Party hosted by Dusty Conner and Brad Ballington, which commemorates the sinking of the Titanic 99years ago.   Guests receive boarding passes based on the original tickets, and in years past, have been served the final meal last served on the ship.  This annual event has been going on for 50 years after originating in Charleston.  Dusty and Brad inherited it and brought it to Lady’s Island 15 years ago.  Many guests wore period costumes from the time.  It was a beautiful full moon night with dancing under the stars with food catered by Breakwater Restaurant.  “It’s our way of giving back to our friends,” says Dusty “and marks the end of winter and beginning of Spring parties outside in the Lowcountry.”

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Garden Club Visits Famed Lowcountry Garden

By Lanier Laney

April 14, 2011

Did you know that one of the finest private gardens in America is just a few miles outside of Beaufort?  Lovingly created over the years by the very talented Gay Fowler,  Dean Hall Plantation has been the prized Lowcountry destination of countless garden Clubs from around the country who come to the Lowcountry to tour its renowned gardens.  The Board members of the Garden Club of America just visited this garden a few months earlier.  This group in the photo is the Palmetto Garden Club from Columbia who were here last week.  And it turned out to be the perfect moment to visit the garden as all the hundreds of azaleas were blooming along with Gay’s famed collection of heirloom roses and there were even camellias still blooming.

The formal garden has two pigeonniers designed by Gay that she uses as potting sheds and she’s just finished a spectacularly beautiful Glass House for overwintering plants that incorporates the historic front door fan and side lights from the late John Gettys Smith‘s parents’ home.

All the 50 visitors agreed that Gay has done an amazing job.  Thanks so much Gay (and husband Frank) for making our area such a beautiful place for all these national garden clubs to visit!

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Homecoming Reception

By Lanier Laney

April 14, 2011

Lee, Lynn, & Steve Patterson with Isabel Jewell

Nancy Law & Heather and Sam Vail held a beautiful ‘welcome back to Beaufort’ reception at their historic home, Bythewood House,  in honor of long time former Beaufort residents Isabel and Sam Jewell who now live in New Mexico.  Isabel is head of the charitable fundraising side of the Sante Fe Opera and she remarked about how it was great to be back around such warm, friendly and fun Beaufortonians as compared to some of the folks she’s met out West. Well we do know how to have a good time!  That’s for sure.  Here are some pics from the event for you and hopefully they will return again soon.

Suzanne McGarity, Jackie Oliver, & Heather Vail

Charlie Peyton & Sam Jewell

Heather & Sam Vail with Beth and Tom Oliver

Nan Sutton, Isabel Jewell, Mike Sutton, & Peggy Peyton

Nancy Law, Missy Schultz, & Anne Mitchell

Patsy Collins & Connie McGraw

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BA Landed a BIG one at the 2011 Fish In!!!

By Lanier Laney

April 14, 2011

Speaking of people knowing how to have a good time!  The Fish In is always a very fun fundraising event and this year continued that tradition with fabulous silent auction items and a unique venue, (Steamers), not to mention all the great fun people who came (over 275 people from the Beaufort Community to benefit and support Beaufort Academy).  The event would not have been possible without all the wonderful sponsors and auction donors and the very hardworking committee composed of Marjorie Gray, Frances Stowe, Casey Tumlin, Wendi Lynn, Leigh Ann Pingree, Eve Fleming, Jana Bowden, Bradi Dinkins, Tracey Hines and Liz O’Herron.  Charles Tumlin and Scott Stowe were head of the Sponsorship Committee, and the whole event was beautifully coordinated by Jessica Miller, Beaufort Academy Special Events CoordinatorTo all, job well done!  Here are some pics.

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Fun at Spring for the Cure!

By Lanier Laney

March 31, 2011

Big turnout on a beautiful sunset evening for Spring for the Cure wine tasting benefit for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life on the Rhett House porch this past weekend.  100% of proceeds raised will go to the Cancer Society as wine was donated by Mary Godley of Southern Wine and Spirits and also by Marianne Harrison, co-host, and owner of the Rhett House Inn along with husband SteveBreakwater Restaurant graciously provided the delish hors d’oeurves.  Happy Wino columnist Terry Sweeney entertained the assembled with wine wisdom and wit.  Event organizer Pamela Brownstein of The Island News, which sponsored the event, gave a very heartfelt speech about her personal reasons for starting the event in honor of her mother whom she recently lost to the disease and thanked everyone for coming.  Special thanks to Anya Chase and Matt Pieper of the Rhett House and Mary Godley for their hard work on the event and for all the folks who turned out to support it.  Here are some pics.

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Happy B’Day Lime Lite!

By Lanier Laney

March 31, 2011

Lime Lite Salon crossed it’s crucial second year mark with a party celebrating it’s customers this past weekend.   They say that it takes a business two years to ‘make it or break it’ and I’m happy to report that Lime Lite has done this successfully and even garnered several reader’s choice ‘Best Salon’ Awards during some of the two toughest years any business could face.   Congrats to co-owners Dawn Faivre and David Watson and thanks also for bringing a beautiful  and successful new business to an important part of the up and coming downtown Carteret St. business corridor.  Congratulations also to their whole dedicated team of stylists  Jennifer Ray, Jennifer Dowling, Kelly McClune, Alyson Boggess, April Staska, Ashley Kofron, and DeeDee Kieber and Daniella Hernandez,

I’ve heard so many good things about Lime Lite and it’s staff, it makes a baldy like me wish I had hair just so I could go there too!

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And the Winner Is….

By Lanier Laney

March 24, 2011

Kathy Tupper

In honor of Charleston Fashion Week, I have named The Best Dressed Woman in Beaufort each year at this time after doing some informal ‘polling’ around town.  In 2009 it was Jenny Sanford, In 2010 it was Laura Trask, (who we are now lucky to have as the Island News’ Fashion Columnist) and this year, for the 2011 Best Dressed Woman in Beaufort… the winner is… Kathy Tupper!   I’ve seen Kathy at black tie balls to just wearing a t-shirt and capris and she always looks great around town.  Her daytime outfits are consistently some of the best in Beaufort and her color sense is always sophisticated and pitch perfect for her.  And everyone I spoke to agreed.  Congratulations Kathy!

More winners this week were announced at the Historic Beaufort Foundation’s Annual Meeting at the Beaufort Yacht and Sailing Club by Pete Palmer. Here’s the list of 2011 Award Winners:

Historic Preservation Craftsman AwardJoel Caldwell of Quality Painting

Historic Landscape Stewardship AwardMack Cook, City of Beaufort

Laura and Matt McAlhaney

Historic Preservation Honor Award – City Loft Hotel, Laura & Matt McAlhaney

Historic Preservation Honor AwardMolly & John Gray, B.B. Sams House No.2

Historic Preservation Honor Award -  Dataw Historic Foundation, Joel Holden, Jack Brown, John Colgan

Historic Preservation Honor Award – Breakwater Restaurant – Donna & Gary Lang, Beth Shaw

Historic Preservation Honor Award - Greyhound Flats, Kevin Cuppia

Historic Preservation Honor Award - Wren Bistro, Cindy Lawton accepting on behalf of Annie & Brad Sergent

Danner Award for Lifetime Achievement in Historic Preservation Rosalie Pazant, posthumously, for The Gullah Festival, daughter Charlotte Brown accepting

Not present: Alice Seeburg who was awarded the the Pringle Award for Lifetime Service to HBF, and the Cox family for Clarendon Plantation’s Historic Preservation Honor Award.

Thanks to you all for your contribution to the beauty that is Beaufort!

Donna & Gary Lang with Beth Shaw

Joel Caldwell

Charlotte Brown

Cindy Lawson

Joel Holden, Jack Brown, & John Colgan

Kevin Cuppia

Mack Cook

Molly and John Gray

Arts Awareness Party

Also among the winners this week has been the educational arts programs in South Carolina (at least round one).

The Assembly voted to only cut the budget for the South Carolina Arts Commission by 6% instead of totally defunding it.

Tommy and Trea Tucker with Peggy Reynolds

Peggy and Wayne Reynolds hosted an Arts Awareness Cocktail Party at their home last week and there was a big turnout by some very influential local and regional Republicans, like Bill Timmerman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of energy giant SCANA corporation which owns SCE&G, who joined with fellow Democrats in support of the arts.  The South Carolina Arts Foundation is the private fundraising arm of the South Carolina Arts Commission and Peggy is a board member of the Foundation along with Robin Leverton who also hosted the event along with Bill’s wife Debra Timmerman who is also a Board Member and spoke eloquently to the assembled group about the many accomplishments of the South Carolina Arts Commission.  (please read Wendy Politzer’s Profile of the organization in this issue for more information).  Local politicians like Beaufort’s Shannon Erickson received applause from the group for her recent vote in the assembly to keep funding the Arts Commission. It was noted that Beaufort County artists, writers, and arts programs have received more awards, recognition and support from the South Carolina Arts Commission than almost any other county in the state. Something that we can all be proud of.  Here are some pictures from the party.

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Afternoon Tea 2-4 p.m Southern Graces, dinner 5-9. Photo by Riann Mihiylov

Beaufort diners and visitors also won a great new place to have dinner this week as Southern Graces Bistro opened for dinner at The Beaufort Inn.   The bistro is open Tuesday – Sunday. Lunch will be offered from 11- 2 p.m., afternoon tea from 2-4 p.m., dinner from 5-9 p.m.  They also have a divine brunch on Sunday from 11-2 p.m.   Congrats to owners Christopher and Bethany Hewitt and their staff who have worked so hard to keep their business thriving and growing at the Beaufort Inn.

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Your Upcoming Social Calendar to Benefit Charities

By Lanier Laney

March 17, 2011

This week, Saturday March 19th

The Beaufort Twilight Run 8K and 5K  followed by an oyster roast at Habersham at 6:30.  All proceeds benefit the Riverview Charter School.  Last years event raised over $20,000 for the school.  Also appearing at Piace Pizza there that same night is Stan Gray and the Stingrays, vintage soul & rhythm & blues.

Terry Sweeney

Next Friday, the 25th,  Spring For the Cure! At a new wine tasting fundraiser at the Rhett House with the comedic stylings of host Terry Sweeney–(Happy Winos columnist and SNL Alum).  Also hosted by Mary Anne Harrison and Pamela Brownstein of the Island News.  Taste  a half a dozen wines on the beautiful Rhett House porch at Sunset.  With hors d’oeuvres provided by Breakwater Restaurant

Friday March 25th -  5:30-7:00pm.  Donation $25 per person with  100% of proceeds to benefit The American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life Beaufort event

Limited tickets,  please call 973-3024 to reserve your spot.

All wines donated by Mary Godley and Southern Wine & Spirits.

Charleston Fashion Week 2011 next week.

For all the fashion lovers in town, you will have 5 days of events and after parties in Charleston starting Tuesday next week culminating in the big Saturday night  gala event on the 26th in the tents on Marion Square.  Ayoka Lucas, style Editor for Charleston Magazine is behind the event which raises money for Center for Women and Lowcountry AIDS Services. As in previous years the always fun event includes multiple runway shows,  the Rock the Runway Model Competition and the popular Emerging Designer Competition.  For tickets and info visit http://www.charlestonfashionweek.com

Speaking of fashion, save the date for the 8th Annual Friends of Caroline Hospice Fashion Show under the tent at the Tabby Gardens at The Beaufort Inn.  It’s coming up on Wednesday April 13th.  This is always a much talked about popular event here and has grown over the years to become a beautiful Spring ritual in Beaufort.  For more info or to volunteer call 843-525-6257

http://www.friendsofcarolinehospice.com/fashion_show.php

Also in April is the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life at the Beaufort Middle School on April 29th. Which already has 49 teams and 243 participants this year. There is still time to sign up or get involved, go to

http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR/RelayForLife/RFLFY11SA?pg=entry&fr_id=33118

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Jr. Service League Marsh BBQ a Hit!

By Lanier Laney

March 10, 2011

Event Co-Chairs Lorin Siegel and Dr. Jennifer Wallace

Congrats to co-chairs Jennifer Wallace & Lorin Siegel,  for such a successful Junior Service League of Beaufort’s BBQ by the Marsh this past weekend at Town Center.  The beautifully organized event was thanks to dedicated Committee members Kristin Brady- Silent Auction Chair, Carson Bruce, Kristi Rosengarten- F&B Chair, Lachlan Ivy, Ashley Hutchison, Leigh Copeland, Amanda Flake, Gloria Duryea - JSLB Prez, Leigh Ward- JSLB Treasurer, along with committee members (not in photo)Amy Geier decorations chair,  and Rhonda Marek location chair.

Many raves from attendees for Jimmy Fitts who did the Bar B Q, for the Trask Family who donated flowers, for Glenda London and her crew who bartended,  and for Andy Burris of Amazing Event rentals and Shark Rodeo who kept the crowd dancing all night.

Special thanks to major sponsor Beaufort Memorial Hospital, and also Barrier Island Marine, Cleland Site Prep, Sea Island Ophthalmology, Howell, Gibson and Hughs, PA., Port Royal Landing, Trask & Lynn, CPA and Port Royal Oral and Facial Surgery who made the event possible.

Also thanks to all the volunteers and folks that attended. Money raised from this sold out event will be used to benefit non-profits in Beaufort that uplift women and children.

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A Blooming Good Time had by all at Daffodil Festival U-pic

March 10, 2011

Alexandra "Alley" and Harper Faulkner, daughters of Amy and Doug Faulkner

Every year the extended Trask family generously opens their daffodil farm on Cane Island for flower lovers and their families to come pick as much as they want.  This much loved annual ‘rite of Spring’ here in Beaufort County raises money for several deserving charities–Friends of Caroline Hospice, New Plays Festival of the Lowcountry, The Beaufort Open Land Trust along with Beaufort Academy and Riverview Charter School (specifically the family of Charlie Green).

The farm is owned by the estate of the late John and Flora Trask.

Dr. Clark and Evy Trask, along with Mary Trask and her husband DJ Henry orchestrated this years successful event along with many hard working big-hearted volunteers including Weezy Alcott, Miguel Bahena, Ann Bluntzer, Eric Daubert, Framp and Lawton Harper, Dudley, Donna and Jonathan Holmes, Suzanne Larsen, Angel Lopez, Nicholas Nicholas, Preston Pruitt, Charlie Smith, Austin Stroud , Nigel Stroud, Shawn Sproatt ,  Robert Veilz, Bonita Wreden, & Jamie “Houndog” Kirkwood.

As a first this year, this popular event was so strongly attended that unfortunately all the flowers (of many, many acres of flowers) were picked within’ the first two hours, leaving some later arrivals disappointed.  So for next year they are now considering putting a  limit to the number of flowers folks can pick so that everyone has a chance to take some home next time.   This truly is a Trask family group effort and they would like to thank all the people who came out and made this such a great day for the charities of Beaufort.

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Lowcountry  Food  Bank’s  Annual  Gala

March 10, 2011

Eric & Jennifer Drugge, Brad and Leslie Pickel, Patrick and Lauren Kelly

The Lowcountry Food Bank’s annual gala fundraiser, The Chef’s Feast, was held in North Charleston recently. A group of 10 people from Habersham went up for that event. They included Eric Drugge, Jennifer Drugge, Brad Pickel, Leslie Pickel, Patrick Kelly, and Lauren Kelly, seen above. Not pictured, but also in attendance, were Brian and Allegra Craig and Warren and Cheryl Hunter.

There were 29 chefs participating (including Beaufort’s own Jim Spratling). This year, about 1,100 guests attended and it was their biggest success to date, more than $150,000 was raised to help fight childhood hunger. The Lowcountry

Food Bank is moving into Northern Beaufort County with new depots opening here soon. Habersham will host a fall Farmer’s Table fundraiser to benefit this fine charity.

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Irish Eyes Were Smilin’

By Lanier Laney

March 3, 2011

At the sold out 4th Annual Beaufort Irish Festival held for three days last weekend.

If you fill a room wit Irish (from Ireland) and lots of Irish-American folk, you are almost guaranteed to have a fun, laughter-filled event; and this year’s Festival was no exception, starting with the music filled opening Gala Friday night with terrific food made by Joe Kelly, the wonderful Executive Chef from Dataw.  The Saturday Afternoon event featured singing and music by the famed Gabriel Donohue (from Ireland), Harry O’Donoghue (who also hosted), Carroll Brown, Mike Falvey and Tricia McLaren. Along with a wonderful Glor na Daire Academy of Irish dancers and another group called Celtic Traditions. There was also a Beaufort fun Irish Kid’s Fest which handed out prizes for costumes and a Soda Bread Competition, won by Caesar Moona & hosted by Terry Sweeney, judges were Sister Stella Breen, Sister Sheila Byrne and food columnist Evalina Falkner.  The fun continued into the night as the musicians went ‘unplugged and acoustic’ for Pub Night at Luther’s.   Also at Luther’s on Sunday was an old fashioned Irish Sing along and jam session.

All the money raised goes to support Hope Haven of the Lowcountry Children’s Advocacy and Rape Crises Center.  Special thanks goes to  Brenda Hill (Chair) and her hard working committee who pulled it all off so flawlessly:  Wade Bishop, Dot McKay, Connie Kling, Meg Godley, Fred Leya, Noel Tillman, Mike Falvey, Dennis Adams, Don & Donna Starkey, and Barbara Hazzard and all the people that turned out for this great event.

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Wonderful Jazz Notes at UCSB

March 3, 2011

We are lucky to have some phenomenal music talent living right here in Beaufort.  And the Jazz Notes this past weekend proved that statement true.

It featured the fabulous Marlena Smalls and the very talented Lavon Stephens Band (Lavon Stephens, Greg Whittaker, Mark McNight, & Delbert Felix)

and also the equally wonderful Vic Varner & Friends (Jevon Daly, Brian Reed, & David Heywood).

The Lavon Stephens band backed up Marlena doing songs from some of her jazz idols like Etta James and Roberta Flack (who Marlena had seen in concert in a little club before she released her first album and became ‘the’ Roberta Flack.   Marlena’s daughter Sumitra (who has an upcoming performance at Art Works on March 5th) sang several solo numbers along with a beautiful duet with her mother.

Vic Varner opened the show with a range of  beautiful songs with a concentration on some of his Bossa Nova favorites which were perfect for one of our first warm nights in Beaufort.    All the musicians in both bands were extremely  talented.

Bonnie Hargrove, Director of UCSB performances deserves credit for putting it together with Vic and Marlena along with sponsors Mike Rainey, & Marge and Herb Jarvis who made it happen.  If was the first of a series of fundraisers for the new USCB Center for The Arts to create money for great shows like this in the Fall 2011, and Spring 2012 season.  Thanks to all who attended and gave donations (which you can still do) which provides support for terrific programs like this one.

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BB&T Charleston Wine + Food Festival Next Week

by Lanier Laney

February 24, 2011

‘The greatest food and wine festival in the South’ rolls into Charleston next week and you need to go online now to buy tickets because some of the events are almost sold out. ( www.charlestonwineandfood.com/events-tickets )  We are fortunate to have such a top international wine and food festival like this so close by.  The Grand Tasting Tents, located in Marion Square Park featuring over 90 food, wine & spirit stations will be open Friday March 4 to Sunday March 6.

The Festival kicks off with a Salute to Charleston Chefs, which will showcase dishes from 25 of Charleston best restaurants.

And for the first time ever, 6 fan favorite Chefs from the Bravo hit TV show Top Chef will compete in the Lowcountry Ingredient Challenge.

Friday evening boasts the very popular ‘Restaurant Dine Arounds,’  where 20 of Charleston’s most renowned chefs (three of them James Beard Best Chef Southeast Award winners) will open the doors of their acclaimed restaurants to other nationally celebrated chefs like Frank Stitt of Bottega and Michael Anthony of Gramercy Tavern to craft 5-course tasting menus along with visiting celebrity winemaker’s pairings.

Another special treat at this year’s event is the ‘Big Bottles Tasting + Auction’ on Saturday to benefit the culinary charity Lowcountry Local First.  It will be hosted by TV personality and best selling author, Andrea Immer Robinson, Master Sommelier and the first woman ever chosen Best Sommelier in the U.S.

Another festival first is the ‘Winemaker Private Home Tour with a Southern Twist’ on Saturday that will allow guests to stroll through four different Historic homes, each with a winemaker pouring samples.

The event also includes a Sunday Gospel Brunch as well as two gourmet Bar-B-Que events both Saturday and Sunday.

Also not to be missed are the many fascinating wine seminars and tastings with visiting celebrity winemakers from as far away as Spain and Chile running all day long both Friday and Saturday (including a Bordeaux Vertical Tasting of Two Superstar Grand Cru Classes).  Other highlights include a ‘Vineyard Voyage’ on Saturday at noon with top winemakers and the food Editor of Southern Living Magazine.  And a ‘Wine around the Garden’ at Middleton Place Plantation on Friday at noon is the perfect way to visit those famous camellia gardens.

Other events include a Palmetto Brewery Tour, a King St. Sip & Stroll, and a special panel of Pioneers of Pinot featuring many of the wine worlds most famous names in pinot from Washington State.  For craft beer lovers, there are two Brewmaster Beer Dinners.

And finally, a festival favorite from ticket-holders last year is the Celebrity Authors Reception held in a beautiful historic home in Charleston where guests get to sip wine and mingle with the Festival’s featured Cookbook authors sponsored by Charleston Cooks! For a complete listing of all the many wonderful events, seminars, and celebrity food and wine personalities that will be there go to www.charlestonwineandfood.com or call (843) 727-9998 ext. 2.

Film Festivities!

Rebecca Berry and John "JP" McGowan

Big turnout this past weekend for the Beaufort International Film Festival.  Volunteer committees at the Beaufort Film Society have been meeting for almost a year and spent countless hours during the three-day event making sure everything moved smoothly for both locals and visiting movie professionals.  To festival organizers Ron Tucker and Rebecca Berry, job well done!

The Givens Family: Chandler, Nicole, Michael and Olivia

Local Directing talent Michael Givens made Film Festival history when the turnout for the screening of his new movie ‘Angel Camouflaged’ broke all time house attendance records when it filled two theaters at once.  Congrats to Michael for that!

Here are some pics for you from the opening night reception at the Arsenal and the Given’s pre-show party.

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The Spectacular Valentine Ball

By Lanier Laney

February 17, 2011

Great job to all the hardworking volunteers, dinner hosts, and attendees for making this years Valentine’s Ball such a wonderful success under the direction of Anne & DeWitt Helm and Lisa & Paul Mazzeo who co-chaired the Ball.

Tei Tober and Nancy Kessel did a beautiful job decorating the Lyceum with spectacular floral displays and help from Priscilla Aimar Trask and the Sea Island Garden Club.

Ryan Christian chaired the auction committee where over 80 items were sold to the highest bidders.  Anne Mitchel & Valerie Fisher also did a delicious job overseeing the desert tables.

Outside, in charge of the Valet parking, Laura & Robert Achurch and Margaret & Rob Suber worked hard all evening with a large group of enthusiastic ‘parkers’ from the Interact Clubs at Beaufort Academy and Beaufort High.

The band The Maxx, playing beach music, was terrific and the elegantly attired attendees danced until one a.m. capping one of the most successful fundraising events of the year for Beaufort Memorial Hospital.  Money raised will go to the George and Sarah Meyer Pratt Emergency Center.

See your friends and what they wore in my full coverage of the Ball below.

Editor’s Note: I want to thank Lanier Laney and Terry Sweeney for terrific coverage of the Ball. You stood at the door for hours snapping shots and getting names, and this issue looks great! Your hard work is noted. I love you guys! -Wendy

Co-Chairs of the 2011 Valentine Ball, Mr. & Mrs. DeWitt Helm , Dr. and Mrs. Paul Mazzeo

Andrea and Edward Allen

Annie and Eric Powell

Laura & Andy Beall with Cathy Jones

Sandra & John Myrick

Andy and Sandy Jackson, Terry Sweeney, Ken Page

Sherry & Ken Hirsch

Angie Twenge, Mark & Lorin Siegel, Mary & Jon Lohr

Tom Mikell & MaryAnn McCracken

Brenda Hunt, David & Pam Taub, & Peter Hamilton

Charles & Casey Tumlin, Jackie & John Adams

David Homyk, Pat Keown, Tim McDonald, Jennifer Hilton

Jack & Debbie Libaire, with Donna & Gary Lang

John & Ann Gribb, Mary Lee & George Grove

John & Renee Russell, Norman & Maria Mariano

Mike & Catey Long, with Jessica Rockwell & Hampton Long

Starr & William Spearman, Maureen & Rick Dimont

Tei Tober, Alicia Taylor, Brenda & Ray Molony

Jared & Deanna Kraszewski

Marci & Andy Burris

Alice Moss & Vic Varner

Anne Mitchell & Chris Keirs

Beth & Michael Langehans

Carolyn & Bill Nettles (BMHF Chairman)

Dave Shortt & Anna Edwards

Erica & Jon Dickerson

Frank Biermann & Beverley Porter

George & Sally Post

George & Susan Ward

Hoyt & Joyce Peckham

Jane & Mike Frederick

Jeff & Cindy Davis

Kara & David Tedder

Kathryn Walters & Bill Young

Marjorie & Herb Gray

Martha Foster & Bill Harvey

Mary & Mike Mashke

Nancy Kessel & Tei Tober

Patrick Gallagher & Ann Gassenheimer

Pennie & Jim Mead

Richard Brooks & Beth Shaw

Rick Toomey & Dr. Linda Hawes

Rob & Anne Gantt

Steve & Katie Giammona

Steve Gerber & Wendy Pollitzer

Stuart & Veronica Smalheiser

Suzanne & Pat McGarity

Tim & Stacey Johnston

Vicki & Johnathon Verity

Vicki & Steve Mix

Wayne & Peggy Reynolds

Helen & David Ziolkowski, with Lisa Wechsler

Vickie & Jack Cumings with Jayne Krebs

John Horton, Kathy Tupper, Mardy Moore, & Robin Leverton

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SuZara’s Kitchen and Marketplace Expands

By Lanier Laney

February 10, 2011

There was a big turnout the other night for a reception celebrating the expansion of SuZara’s Kitchen and Marketplace to now include Patsy Collins’ ‘Be My Guest’ cards and gifts.  Also, Susan Zara is now offering over a dozen wonderful wines for sale in her Newcastle St. shop (behind Talbots) to compliment all the wonderful cheeses and other delicious nibbles she offers there.  Along with platters of brie, she served grapes covered with cheese and toasted nuts which were delicious.  Many people don’t know that Suzarra can prepare platters of cheese and hors d’ oeuvres that you can pick up for your next party or she can cater a whole event.  Congrats to Susan and Patsy on the expansion!

Lots of conversation that night centered on three things, the first is the trend to raise chickens occurring downtown and all around the islands (seems that if you don’t get a rooster then they are very quiet).  New urban farmer Patrick Gallagher is awaiting delivery of over a hundred chicks for his farm!  Which is sure to bring many more fresh eggs to the farmers markets when they reopen in the spring.  There is also a whole flock for sale in Shelton along with goats I was told.  Did you know that in Atlanta now, in some of the swankiest neighborhoods, people get together and have cocktail parties where they walk around the neighborhood visiting each other’s chicken coops?  The  second topic of conversation centered around the three new restaurants rumored to be coming to downtown. –An upscale barbecue one, an Italian one, and an English Pub. And finally there was lots of talk about the…

Crosswalk Dangers Downtown to be Aware of

Many of you may have heard about the nice Lady’s Island couple that were recently hit by a truck on Carteret St. crossing the road at night in the crosswalk at Port Republic St. (they were both sent to the hospital with the husband flown to MUSC).  This Port Republic St. crossing at Wren, City Loft, and Breakwater is probably the most dangerous intersection in town for pedestrians day or night and ironically is the most used by pedestrians. (Several walking tour groups cross there daily).  It’s South Carolina law that automobiles have to stop when pedestrians enter the crosswalk which is clearly marked with white lines on Port Republic, but one could set up a camera and see hundreds of violations a day there.  I spoke with one frustrated Point resident who said she and her 88 yr old friend “had to hold up both arms to try and get traffic to stop when they noticed a lady with a baby carriage trying to cross and still cars kept going through, just a few feet from the baby! ” said the lady “That whole two-block area from Bay St. to Carteret is just an uncontrolled ‘raceway’, right through the historic district” added her friend.

I was told that the city and local business owners have requested the South Carolina Department of Transportation to put up additional signage and center of the road markers to remind motorists to stop for pedestrians.  But as of this date, nothing has been done.   In the meantime, please watch carefully when you cross at these intersections, especially at night.   Don’t assume motorists are going to stop.

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A Celebration of the Beaufort International Film Festival

By Wendy Pollitzer

February 10, 2011

Susan Shaffer, Marlena Smalls and Ron Tucker

Hats off to Ron Tucker and members of the Beaufort International Film Festival (BIFF) committee who hosted an amazing wine dinner last Thursday at Saltus River Grill in an effort to solicit new members into the Beaufort Film Society and in celebration of this year’s festival that begins Thursday, February 17th and ends Saturday, February 19th.

Donations from the dinner were made to BIFF on behalf of Saltus. The four-course meal included the restaurant’s signature crab bisque, a local arugala salad that featured pickled red onion, shaved parmesan and a sherry vinagrette, braised beef short ribs with creamy buttermilk grits and a unique banana pudding, highlighted by the distinct flavor of vanilla sabayon layered with benne seed wafers and fresh bananas. Paired with each of these courses were wine picks from Celia Strong. She chose Frei Brothers Russian River Chardonnay for the first course, Glazebrook New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc for the second course, Rock and Vine California Cabernet Sauvignon with the short ribs and Lunetta Prosecco from Italy to end the evening.

Thanks to Chip Dinkins and Lantz Price for hosting this special affair to benefit the local non-profit.  Many had a wonderful time and more importantly became members of this extraordinary Society.

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Another great Mardi Gras Ball

By Lanier Laney

February 3, 2011

Arlene Hull, left, with board members Stacie van Vulpen and Deanna Bowdish. Photos by Richard Darby.

From left: John Cartwright, Holly McVeigh, Dwayne Dopsie, and Victoria Smalls.

Dancing, great music, and fun were had by all at the successful Mardi Gras 2011 held this past weekend at the Parris Island  Lyceum.  Attendance was up this year and raised vital funds to support ARTworks, the arts council of Beaufort, Port Royal and the Sea Islands, whose mission is to help local artists and enrich audiences, collectors, and visitors through high quality arts experiences and arts education programs.

Brice and nate Cooper with Don and Donna Starkey

From left: Mike McFee, Mara Connelly- Rhodin, Billy Keyserling, Bonnie Hargrove.

Above: From left, Jesse Gantt, Veronica Gerald, Michael Frederick, Maurice Ungaro, Jane Frederick and Jon Miller.

The hard-working organizing committee was chaired by Claudette Humphrey and included John CartwrightCarlotta and Maurice UngaroCarolyn CarterStacie and Garret Van VulpenBrice Cooper, and Deanna Bowdish who organized the silent art auction with wonderful work by Eric Longo, Karen Keen Day, Paul Nurnberg. Susan Zara of Suzara’s Kitchen provided fabulous chocolate truffles for everyone at the event.

The dancers warmed up with Generation Gap, a great local group that included Jack Russell, JW Rone and Jen and Jeremy Haden, who opened the show for the famous Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers, direct from New Orleans

Special thanks to Beaufort Jasper Comprehensive Health Services who were the gold sponsor and all the volunteers and attendees who made this event such a fun success!

Valentine Ball Kick-Off Party

Robin & Christian Koppernaes. Photos by Susan DeLoach

Kick off Party Chairs (L) to (R) Leigh Ann Pingree, Wendi Lynn & Chilton Simmons

This past weekend, Robin and Christian Koppernaes hosted the Kick Off Party for this year’s Beaufort Memorial Hospital Valentine Ball at their lovely home.  This beautiful event, organized by Leigh Ann Pingree, Wendi Lynn, and Chilton Simmons, honors all the big-hearted dinner party hosts  who are donating dinner parties in their homes for attendees of the upcoming ball. So far, 654 people have bought tickets to attend this year’s fundraiser and will be seated at the 38 simultaneous dinner parties to be held around town that night before the ball.

Chairs of the 2011 Valentine Ball- (L) to (r) Dr. and Mrs. Paul Mazzeo Mr. and Mrs. DeWitt Helm

Music was by wonderful Classical Guitarist Kim Merrill and Beaufort Memorial Hospital donated the food. If you would like to purchase tickets to the ball only, they are still for sale at:  843-522-5774.

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Cold Nights, Warm hearts

By Lanier Laney

January 27, 2011

From left, Vivi Verity Nellen, John Verity, Andy Kinghorn, and Bonnie Krstolic.

A very successful

Pat McGarity and Marshlands owner, host Brantley Harvey.

fundraising oyster roast was held this past weekend by Historic Beaufort Foundation on the grounds of beautiful ‘Marshlands’ on the Point. Isabella Reeves and Julie Good were the event’s hard-working organizers and Sandy Patterson did a great job organizing a fine group of volunteers. Beek webb’s Sea Island Ramblers did a great job keeping spirits high and toes tapping. And the food and catering by Reeves Catering was very much enjoyed. Many thanks to all the folks who attended! Money raised by the event will be used to further Historic Beaufort Foundation’s mission to preserve the Beaufort’s past. A nice birthday gift for Beaufort’s 300th year!

The Sea Island Ramblers

Louise Uehling, left, and Kay Owen of Habersham

Warm Night, Cold Hearts

A much sadder scene played out across town earlier in the weekend, (and on a warmer night) at the kick-off party for the traveling show “The African- American Voice” which opened in the art galleries at USCB. The exhibition includes 26 works of art from the State Art Collection of many of South Carolina’s most celebrated African- American artists. I was told that the pall over the event was due to Gov. Nikki Halley’s announcement earlier in the day that she and her supporters intend to cut all art funding in the state, thus de- funding shows like this one and the entire State Art collection which has “been a snapshot of the best of South Carolina.

artists over the past 50 years and belongs to the people,” said Ken May, Director of the S.C. Arts Commission (who will also lose his job if the legislation goes through). He seemed to be in a state of shock (and who wouldn’t be if you had just learned everything you worked for was disappearing — including your job and all the artist education programs in the state.)

“This definitely marks the beginning of a big decline in the future of this state,” said a history professor standing next to me at USCB. “Look at all the great civilizations. Rome, Greece, their decline started at the level of the arts first, when support for that goes, it’s the beginning of the end.” Folks attending bravely smiled for my camera amid the ‘funereal’ atmosphere. It was the saddest art opening I think I have ever attended in Beaufort. Unfortunately, I think the cuts are really going to impact a town like Beaufort whose identity is so based on the arts. If arts in South Carolina are important to you, be sure and tell your local representatives your feelings.

The beautiful exhibit is up until Feb. 28. Check it out — it may be the last for a long, long time.

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Hats off to Grayco!

By Lanier Laney

January 20, 2011

Open Land Trusts Ann Bluntzer, along with Laura Trask, & Mary Trask in the Lowcountry Real Estate tent across from the Extreme home.

Giant Kudos to all the very hard-working (& big-hearted) Grayco employees and the Gray family for contributing so much to the success of the Extreme Makeover home. Herb Gray, Ben Tomlinson, and Brooks Lively worked long hours into the night with H-2 builders Todd Hawk and Bob Zinn to order and deliver to the site all the windows, doors, and other building supplies in under 5 weeks  (without a hitch) in a process that  normally would take up to a year.

Grayco employees put in over 300 volunteer hours consisting of   personnel from 4 locations (Grayco Building Centers in Bluffton/Beaufort, Grayco Hardware-Ladys Is & Carolina Door and Millwork in Ridgeland) including the manager of the Beaufort Store and his staff being on call 24/7 for the week of the project; it became truly a Beaufort County-wide project for them.  Here are some of the many other ways they contributed:

Grayco Building center on Lady’s island was the staging and area for a majority of the building products, some products were actually assembled there and all were delivered by Grayco Staff. On the first delivery their drivers actually used 2 Bobcat excavators that were on the jobsite to level the dirt so the material could be unloaded and on another occasion they changed a tire for a company that had trouble with their delivery. When the urgent call went out for framing carpenters the Lady’s Island store manager called Allen Patterson of Patterson Construction in Beaufort and they responded in a big way.Grayco also donated:Treated Lumber and Porch DeckingColumnsWindows and DoorsThe Front Entry DoorInterior Doors and TrimHardware, Nails, PaintInstallation of locks and hardware for all windows and doors. I think it’s incredible that in one of the worst years for construction in our lifetimes, that the Gray family has been so generous in their contributions to this worthy endeavor that will bring positive national and international attention to our community and help a military family. Please remember Grayco the next time you plan to build or add on to your home or business. Low Country Real Estate rented a tent across from the ‘Extreme’ home for friends and employees to view all the goings on.  I was told that the rent money which Low Country paid will go into a fund to help the family pay for the heating and cooling bills for their new 4,500 square foot house. They’re gonna need it!

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Happy Birthday Beaufort!

By Lanier Laney

January 6, 2011

Mayor Billy Keyserling and Whitney McDaniel

Deborah Johnson

Erin Dean

Margaret Evans

Jeff Evans as "Tuscarora Jack"

Marlena Smalls

Wow what a great event!  One of the best City events I have attended.  The New Year’s Eve Founders Night Celebration to kick off Beaufort’s 300th year was conceived over three years ago and championed  by (not yet the Mayor) Billy Keyserling, who wisely chose Erin Dean, Chairperson of the Beaufort Tricentennial Committee, (and whose organizational abilities are legendary) to help so successfully pull it off. They were smart to enlist the help of the incredible jazz singer Marlena Smalls who put together the wonderful program that included the Tabernacle Baptist Church Choir, The Carteret United Methodist Church Choir, and Margaret Evans and Bill Brantley from the First Presbyterian Church Choir.

Members of the Tabernacle Baptist Church Choir

One of the most moving moments of the event was when both black and white choirs joined each other on stage, and sang together followed by a very moving rendition by Marlena of both Dixie and the Battle Hymn of the Republic which brought  all of the nearly 2000 people attending to their feet in respect.

It felt like a true historic moment capping Beaufort’s dramatic three hundred year’s, from its founding as a military outpost, through slavery days, to the signing of the articles of Secession which started the Civil War, to America’s largest water battle to retake Beaufort, to the first reading of the Emancipation Proclamation in the South, to the Port Royal Experiment and Penn Center through the founding of Parris Island to today, as eloquently spoken about by Mayor Billy and humorously talked about by Jeff Evans, acting in costume  as the famous character of Beaufort’s past ‘Tuscarora Jack’ (who wrote his script based on historic material from Larry Rowland).  High points also included music byCharlie Frost and  Cynthia Chapman. Solos by Rand Packer, Bill Harvey, Mike McFee and the amazing Greg Whittaker on saxophone and Marlena Smalls who wowed the crowd.

Deborah Johnson gave an overview of all the accomplishments over the past three years of the B3C project (which she did a great job heading), an organization, also started in Billy’s living room at his urging.

Thanks to Erin Dean, Mike Mcfee, Bonnie Hargrove, and Billy Keyserling who worked with her on the event,  the firework display at the conclusion of the event, (lasting nearly 12 minutes!) was “the best they had seen in Beaufort” according to onlookers around me.

All the volunteers who did so much to make this happen deserve a ‘Big Thank You!’ from all of us who live in Beaufort or surrounding islands. Especially Frank Mueller and the entire City Public Works crew who came in on their time off to load in all the equipment, decorations and chairs and take them down afterward.  Job well done!!

To help offset costs associated with all the great Tricentennial events (and to get your name included in bronze on the Tricentennial Monument to be erected in the Waterfront park), the Beaufort 300 Campaign headed by Kevin Cuppia is asking for 300 people to give $300 tax deductible dollars. (Businesses can sponsor too!). What a great way to add your name or company’s name to Beaufort’s history!  For more info: www.cityofbeaufort.org/tricentennial/fundraiser.aspx

Here Comes the Valentine Ball!

Time to buy tickets for the always fabulous Valentine Ball!  It’s just around the corner on Saturday February 12.  If you go online to www.bmhsc.org/foundation_events.htm#valentine and RSVP before January 15th, you will receive an invitation to a dinner party the evening of the Ball. Which I think is worth the price of the ticket by itself!  (And half of which, by the way, is tax deductible).  Find out what great cooks we have in Beaufort and attend one of these elegant dinner parties in Beaufort’s  finest homes.  A great chance to see old friends or meet some wonderful new people.

The Ball afterward, (Beaufort’s biggest society ball of the year) always has wonderful decorations, great dance music and incredible silent auction items.  It’s the signature fundraising event for Beaufort Memorial Hospital and involves hundreds of volunteers who have been working very hard all year long to bring you the very best event they can.  For more information, go online (above) or call the Foundation office at 843-522-5774.

Ready for some Mardi Gras fun?

To cheer up some of these dreary January days?  Well then be sure and ‘hop to it’ –all the great dance music that is, at the upcoming Mardi Gras Beaufort annual Event at the Lyceum on Parris Island!  Coming up soon, Jan. 29th, 7-11 p.m.  It’s a fundraiser for the Arts Council of Beaufort County, (which runs ARTworks in Beaufort Town Center) and has done a truly amazing job offering, an incredible array of courses, events and exhibitions benefiting all the arts in Beaufort County, every day, all year long.  And all without any funding from the Beaufort County Government (so your $75 tickets are tax deductible).  It includes a wonderful dinner, silent auction, and the famous Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers, direct from New Orleans. Dwayne brings down the house at every concert.  And he gets everyone involved in the fun.  He was at last years event and everyone couldn’t stop talking about it.  “The music will be hoppin’ and the venue extraordinary. Here’s your opportunity to celebrate and support the local arts and come to a great fun party!” says Deanna Bowdish.  Bring your own beads and masks along with festive attire, or masks will be provided.

To learn more and/or buy tickets for this fun even, go online www.beaufortcountyarts.com or call 843-379-2787.

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Peace on Earth

By Lanier Laney

December 30, 2010

Beaufort native Catherine Hipp was back in town at Saltus the other night after a 17 hour flight from her new home in Cameroon, Africa where she now works as a volunteer for the Peace Corps.  Catherine was the Marketing Manager for the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce for almost 3 years where she helped launch the Film Festival with fellow co-worker Ivey Liipfert and ran the Shrimp Festival.

Cameroon is a country in central equatorial Africa below Nigeria where unfortunately they have a big problem with child labor where the children are sold to next door countries and virtually treated like slaves as farm workers.  Catherine’s Peace Corp center’s main mission is to take groups of children and teach them a trade so that they can be self employed and support themselves instead.  Catherine also works with womens’ groups teaching them how to budget and start and run their own businesses.

“I wanted to join the Peace Corp so that I could be more grateful for what I had in my life and not focus on material things as much” said Catherine.  And she has found work in Cameroon for the past 18 months to be very rewarding.  “The people are very friendly and welcome you into their house any time of the day where they then insist you eat something” (much like the South).  “They love to feed you and you can’t say no.  That’s why I’ve gained 20 pounds!” laughed Catherine who loves the food, especially a dish called jama jama which is sort of a polenta (grits) dish with pepper, tomatoes, and onions.  The national language of Cameroon is a version of English “which sounds similar to Gullah” says Catherine.  The Cameroons are mainly Catholic, Presbyterian, and Baptist according to Catherine who has a friend there who is a Baptist missionary.   When she landed in Greenville/Spartanburg it was snowing “The first White Christmas of my life!” said Catherine. “It was magical”.  Catherine starts her journey back to Camaroon today and we wish her the best and thank her for the great work she is doing for children and families in one of the poorest countries in Africa.

What’s your New Years Resolution?

I asked around Beaufort and here are some of the responses I got:

“Listen to more Michael Jackson and learn the moonwalk.”

“Stop dating 22 yr. olds”  (said by an older gent)

“Get a job in New York City”

“Get a state Congressional seat”

“Stop eating anymore white starches”

“Lose 250 pounds-(my husband!)”  (said as a joke of course)

“Not use one of those hideous downtown parking meters for an entire year”

“Get sober…again”

In response to the last one.  Did you know that January has historically been the month that Beaufortonians give their livers a break?  That’s right. No drinking for an entire month!  Can you do it?  I can if you can!

Have a Happy and safe New Year’s Eve everybody and a super 2011!!!

(no place to go but ‘up’ after this year!)

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New Year’s Eve Happenings around Town

By Lanier Laney

December 23, 2010

Can you believe that the end of the year is coming next friday?

I  checked with some of the restaurants downtown to see what is happening for you.  Plus got some reservation numbers. The Rhett House Inn has Chef Chris Hewitt from Southern Graces preparing a four course dinner that includes fois gras, filet mignon, pistachio encrusted lamb chops, or poached lobster for $60pp. They have two seatings, one at 7pm and the other at 9:30. Champagne and mixed drinks available but not included. Full menu online, also check out the special spend-the-night New Years package that includes champagne and a gift bag www.rhetthouseinn.com or (524-9030).

Over at Wren, Chef Annie Sergant Sous Chef Blake Hendricks have put together a 5 course dinner for $60pp that features lobster bisque, and choice of filet mignon or poached Alaskan halibut, with two seatings 5:30 & 9:00  (843-524-9463).

Across the street, Breakwater has regular dinner service with an addition of the Chef’s much raved about short ribs from the recent Italian wine dinner and a lobster and steak surf and turf special along with a complementary champagne toast at midnight while watching the ball drop on the tele in the bar. (843-379-0052) I also heard that they will be closed from Dec 24th to 27th, reopening on the 28th.

Over on Bay St.  Saltus’ Chef Brian Waters has a special 4 course meal for $49pp that features beef tenderloin, or a Maine butter lobster.  The full menu is also online. (843-379-3474)  Down the street, Plums is featuring blackboard and drink specials.  The Broke Legends start playing at 10pm.  Next door at Luther’s the band Irritating Julie also starts at 10.  Pannini’s has drink specials and a D.J.

City Loft Hotel has a special New Years Eve Overnighter for $189 for two that includes a bottle of champagne in the room upon arrival, plus a cheese plate, plus a $20 gift certificate to City Java coffee.  You can book online or call (843)379-5638.   If you are not spending the night downtown, then you might think about booking a cab in advance and putting that number on speed dial.

Out on St. Helena Island, at the Foolish FrogChef Bob Roderer will be doing his menu including pan fried crab cakes, filet mignon, and center cut bone-in pork chops, along with a special dish of braised pork ribs and sauerkraut along with Hoppin’ John  (838-9300).

Next door on Dataw, at SweetgrassChef Nadine Awoyemi, is doing a special crab topped fillet with béarnaise sauce, seared yellow fin tuna, or pork with peppercorns with complementary champagne toast.  Laid back dress code, bar will be open past midnight (838-2151).

Open Land Trust Membership Drive — Just one Week left for 2010 tax advantages!

The Open Land Trust which has done so much good for Beaufort County by purchasing threatened views and open lands is in the final week of their big December membership drive.  For just $30 tax deductible dollars, your money will go directly to preserving threatened habitats and open space for all of us and future generations, like the recently saved Green in the Historic District.  Simply go online to www.openlandtrust.com/membership or call (843) 521-2175.

Oops! — Typo last week

New York jewelry designer John Wind‘s collection of beautiful vintage inspired jewelry is available exclusively at Rossignol’s and not where previously reported.  You’ve still got time for the perfect gift!  Sorry to Ginger and Charles Aimar for the mistake.

And from all of us at the Lowcountry Social Diary, may you have a warm and wonderful Christmas!! And a super prosperous New Year!!

All our best,

Lanier, Pamela, and Heather

John Wind designs at Rossignols

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It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!

By Lanier Laney

December 2, 2010

Beaufort Inn

Winter is finally here, (although not a very cold one so far).  Downtown is transforming itself in preparation for the kickoff to the Christmas season this weekend.  Here is your social calendar for upcoming events.

See all your friends and neighbors at this Friday’s annual Night On The Town and watch the Christmas Tree in Freedom Park get lit at 8p.m.

On Saturday, December 4th, at 5:30 head to the Waterfront Park to watch the Light Up The Night Boat Parade.  Boats are scheduled to be in Port Royal at 5:30 and by the Waterfront Park at 6.

On Sunday, Dec. 5th bring all the kids to the Christmas Parade downtown at 3 p.m.

And the following weekend,  on Saturday Dec. 11th, get a thermos of hot chocolate and head to the park with your blanket and chairs for “It’s a Wonderful Life” Movie in the Park at 6 pm.

Big Thanks to LaNelle Fabian and Androula Weiland of Main St. Beaufort for helping all this fun stuff downtown to happen!

Breaking Restaurant News

Congratulations to Saltus Executive Chef Jim Spratling and DNR biologist Lindsay Roberg for their recent nuptials!  I heard that Lindsay has to capture and re-release errant alligators as part of her job and also works with sea turtles.

I also heard that the former Groupers at the Lady’s Island Marina is turning into The Factory Creek Fish Company and expects to open very soon after it’s recent makeover.

Friday, December 3rd – A Night On The Town. Businesses stay open late, local entertainment, Christmas Tree lighting at 8pm

Saturday, December 4th – Light Up The Night Boat Parade – 5:30pm

Sunday, December 5th – Christmas Parade – 3:00pm

Saturday, December 11th – “It’s A Wonderful Life” Movie in the Park – 6:00pm

Beautiful Poinsettia from Grayco

Charles & Company

Common Ground

Free Parking-Best Gift of All

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December Southern Living Magazine Spotlights Beaufort

November 18, 2010

Marianne & Steve Harrisons Christmas Featured in Southern Living Magazine

Hitting the stands in the next few days is the new December issue of ‘Southern Living’ which features Beaufort as a December travel destination.  They also feature a full pictorial of the home, decorated for Christmas, of Beaufort’s Rhett House Inn owners Marianne and Steve Harrison (pictured).  The issue also raves about  Beaufort’s new City Loft Hotel and the food at Breakwater and other local restaurants.  The magazine which has 15 million readers should be a boon for our local travel business.  The magazine also recommendss readers attend ‘A Lowcountry Christmas Beaufort Gala‘ at the Beaufort Inn on Dec. 11 at 6p.m.  An Inaugural fundraiser for the Boy’s and Girls Club of the Lowcountry.  The award-winning Southern Graces Catering will present a menu that includes She-crab cappuccino, fried green tomato canapés and southern shrimp sushi along with its signature holiday beverage, the Sugar Plum Visions cocktail, during the first hour of the Gala.

Guests will proceed to the “Holiday Bliss” food stations presenting roasted artichoke dip, prime rib crostini, fig and goat cheese flatbread and Riesling shrimp atop roasted corn cakes.  Music will be by Buddy Kosic and the Lowcountry Jazz band.  Tickets are $125.  For more information about  this special upcoming event call 843-575-5430 or www.bgclowcountry.org.  The motto for all Boys & Girls Clubs in the nation is “Great Futures Start Here.”  The Boys and Girls club encourages their club members to excel in academics, athletics, artistic expressions, civic leadership and goal setting.

Auction Benefits Friends of Caroline Hospice

Merritt & Jennifer Yeager with Rob De Forge

Barbara Pelli RN

Jennifer and Merritt Yeager and Rob Deforge hosted a lovely fundraising event at the Loft at Beaufort Inn this past weekend.  This is one of 20 or so similar auction parties hosted by various supporters during the season of Festival of Trees. These auction parties are fundraisers for Festival of Trees, which is the wonderful event at Green St Gym, where they have 100 trees decorated by community members, businesses, and schools. It is the first week in Dec.  It is the primary fundraiser for Friends of Caroline Hospice.   Barbara Pelli, an RN of 45 years, who works at the Hospice gave a beautiful heart-felt speech about her appreciation for the organization.  “They accept no monies from patients for their services, and yet, in the history of the organization no one has ever been turned away.  It has been my great honor to work for them, it’s been the best work of my life and everyday I thank God for allowing me to work for such a wonderful organization”.  Rob Deforge of First Citizens Securities did a great job as auctioneer for the many wonderful items donated to the event. First Citizens Bank is a great local bank that gives back to the community.  Many thanks to those who donated and those who bought items in support of this worthy cause.

Carson Bruce, Cher & Ash Milner IV

Chanelle Johnson & Tayloe Lester

Erik & Andrea Stevens

Mary & Ed Gillies

Robert & Claudette Keenan

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Lowcountry Social Diary

Sunset Cocktail Cruise on the Vintage Yacht ‘Freedom’

Elizabeth & Earl McMillen

Freedom. Photo by Edward Dukes

Elizabeth and Earl McMillan hosted their first party of the winter season this past weekend on their yacht, which recently arrived here from Newport, it’s summer home.

First launched on July 4th 1926, the 104 foot long mahogany and fir beauty was christened ‘Freedom’ to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of America’s founding.

It spent most of the glamorous 30′s based out of Palm Beach, owned by the daughter of F.W. Woolworth, the wealthiest woman in the country at the time, and it was the sister ship of the Presidential yacht ‘Sequoia’ (1925) both designed by the famous John Trumpy.

Earl’s company sells fractional shares in the many vintage yachts he has restored, so others can share in the yachting experience. The ‘Freedom’ has a limited number of shares available for ownership in case you’ve dreamed of enjoying a yacht of your own.  If interested, the company has a Lady’s Island Marina office and their website can be found at woodenyachts.com. McMillen Yachts, Inc. can be reached at  (843) 524-8924.

‘Shindig at The Shack’ at Coosaw a Success

Jered and Deanna Kraszewski

Kudos to Jered and Deanna Kraszewski and the hardworking committee who pulled off  such a great new charitable event at Coosaw Point this past weekend.  Katie Huebel did the beautiful decorations and Saltus provided the food.  The event was created by Jered, owner of Get Fit on Lady’s Island as a way to raise money to improve and purchase new gym equipment for the Boys and Girls Club on Boundary St. in downtown Beaufort.  Local weight loss expert Dr. Clark Trask gave an eloquent speech about the importance of preventing obesity in children before it leads to life long health problems for them.  Special thanks to all the people who bought tickets to this sold out event.  The children of Beaufort will directly benefit from your kind-hearted gift.  For more information about donations or or how to get involved contact the non-profit ‘Fit Fund’ at  843-524-2FIT.  Here are some pics from the fun party under the stars.

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Furst Lady of Fashion Visits Beaufort

by Lanier Laney

November 4, 2010

Diane Von Furstenburg and Barry Diller

Dillers beautiful EOS Yacht

Acclaimed International fashion designer Diane Von Furstenburg that is.  One of the world’s most glamorous power couples sailed into Beaufort and strolled down Bay Street and visited many of the top shops there.  Self-made billionaires both, strolling hand in hand were Diane Von Furstenburg and her media mogul husband Barry Diller.

“She came in with no make-up and loose hair wearing a fitted man’s white shirt over her signature grey leggings and sandals, and she looked absolutely gorgeous” said M House & Garden’s Lynn Simkins.  “Her husband was very friendly and asked me questions about the town while Diane looked around.  She bought 8 glasses and a modern silver leaf tray, which they took back to their yacht.  They said they had been in Savannah the day before and were headed to Charleston the next day.”

What DVF bought--wicker covered glasses ($8 a piece) and a silver leaf tray ($58)

Diane’s husband Barry owns the world’s largest private luxury sailing yacht, which cost an estimated $100 million dollars for him to build. Christened the ‘Eos’ after the Greek goddess of dawn, it’s a 305-foot super yacht decked to the max with features such as jet skis, power boats and five-star rooms designed by famed French Interior design star Francois Catroux.  It currently is manned with two chefs, three engineers, nine-deck crew, captains and stewardesses.  You can see a YouTube video of the ship at:  www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxkdyzO7m8M

Barry Diller, known as a media genius, was chairman of Paramount Pictures during a time when it turned out a series of major hits like  Saturday Night Fever, Grease, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Beverly Hills Cop. Then went on to make Fox into the 4th television network. He is currently head of a company that has been home to more than 60 companies including Match.com, Ticketmaster, Evite, and the Home Shopping Network.  Big-hearted Barry has pledged to give half of his multibillion-dollar fortune to charity.

Talented Diane is head of the American Council of Fashion Designers and  has a hugely successful global fashion company.  She created the iconic jersey wrap print dress in the 70′s that is still selling strong 35 years later.  Diane started her company after her first marriage to German Prince Egon Von Furstenburg in 1969, which made her a Princess.  Born in Brussels, her mother Nahmias was a Jewish Holocaust survivor who was captured by the Nazis at age 22 and sent to Auschwitz.  Von Furstenberg recounts how, when her mother had been arrested, she’d tossed a note to her parents in the street that read: “Do not worry about me, I will come back… I don’t know where I am going but I want you to know I’m going with a smile.” Nahmias, according to Von Furstenberg, “was extraordinary. She survived the camps at the age of 22, she taught me only to look at positive things no matter what happens. When she talked about the camps she talked about the camaraderie. She only weighed 49lbs when she came out, but I was born 18 months later. I was her victory”.

Here are excerpts from Diane’s Twitter messages about the trip:

Oct. 25th Sailing the waterways between Beaufort and Charleston, South Carolina….we just saw a dolphin!!! Perfect Sunday morning ! Love DVF

08:51 am Oct 24, 2010 from TweetDeck

Took a little boat from Savannah, Georgia to Beaufort South Carolina….gorgeous light….America is beautiful !!! DVF

Bocce Ball Sundays!

Heather Winch throws the first bocce ball of the season

Elegant bocce ball spread

Bocce Ball Tournament Season in Beaufort started this past weekend. The kick off games are always held in the afternoon on the first weekends in the fall that are cool enough to have a fire in the fireplace, Sunday with it’s cooler weather was perfect with its Lowcountry clear blue sky and was blessedly free of humidity after  months of steamy torture that we have all somehow endured.  Many Beaufortonians play bocce ball on the hard packed beach sand in the summer, but in the fall it migrates to close cropped lawns and more elegant wine and cheese affairs downtown and at places like Cat Island and Habersham.  An ancient sport of the Roman Empire, bocce or lawn bowling is a game that can be conducted between two players, or two teams of two or four.

A smaller ball or pic (also called a jack or pillino) is tossed out onto the lawn and the goal is to roll your bocce ball as close as you can to it to score points for your team.  It’s a fun, inexpensive way to get together with friends and enjoy this beautiful fall weather.

Congrats to Wendy Pollitzer who was named Editor last week of this paper by publishers Kim Gallant & Elizabeth Harding. Wendy has been working as Lead Writer for the paper for the past year and has done a great job expanding local coverage of people, places, and events. Keep up the great work Wendy!

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Beaufort’s Fall Social Whirl

By Lanier Laney

I’m sure you noticed the busy, busy last weekend we had with all the folks in town for Historic Beaufort Foundation’s Fall Tour of Homes and Artwalk on Saturday.  I was able to tour Diane and Conway Ivy‘s house on the Point, where they have put in a marvelous kitchen addition and gorgeous formal garden in the back. Lots of the tourists I talked to on the tour were first timers to lovely Beaufort saying they usually go from Atlanta or Kentucky to the Gulf coast, but the oil spill there sent them to us this year and they planned on visiting again. Kudos to all the many many volunteers and people who opened their homes for this successful fundraiser.

Edward Dukes, Karen Eller and Marvin Dukes

The weather was perfect and also contributed that evening to the success of ‘Cheeseburgers in Paradise’ a fundraiser later that day for ‘Friends of Caroline Hospice’ originally conceived by Kit Bruce from a fundraising cookbook put together by friends of a former hospice patient who had loved that Jimmy Buffet song.   The event was sold out and Worth Liipfert and Jason Ward’s electric banjo combo ‘Ban Jovi’ did a great job playing to the packed crowd at the Port Royal Marina as a big October moon rose over the Beaufort River right on cue.  Many thanks to all the hard working volunteers and people that bought tickets for this very worthy charity event.

John & Barbara Warley with Pat Conroy

Heather Metcalfe, & Gloria Delvini

Beth Fischman, Betty Zimpfer, Pat Whitehead, & Kim Nichols, & Laurie Reich

Earlier, across town, Pat Conroy signed books with his Citadel basketball best bud John Warley, which also had a great turnout at the Verdier House.  On the Thursday before there was another packed book signing at the Rhett House for Heather Metcalfe and her poignant book on Afghanistan followed the next day by a reception for the opening of the wonderful art exhibition at the USCB Galleries for painter Pat Whitehead who is also an old Point resident with husband Mike Whitehead. By the way, you might not know this, but Mike is a champion world-class sailor and competes in those famous big sailing races in his native England every year.

Speaking of the Point, I heard a three million dollar home there sold recently to a couple from Texas who plan to use it as a second home (I believe they have a lear jet for the commute), a good sign that at least the high end homes are starting to sell again in Beaufort.  Let’s hope they like to give big parties!

Overheard:

“I’ve just hit ‘critical mass’–if I gain even one more ounce, I won’t be able to fit into a single thing I own.”


Bill & Jill Scheper

Kelly & Walker Dean

Laura Dukes, Terry Sweeney, & Pat Collie

League Cree, Kimberly Smith, & Josh Martin

Sarah & Chris Chaffen

Weezy Alcott, Beverley Porter & Jill Scheper

Woody Rutter & Joe Floyd

Bernie Schein, Maggie Schein, & Carla Abend

Pat Irwin, Terry Murray, & Pam Taub

Pete & Terry Hussey, Penelope Parker


Erica Dickerson, Sam Vail, Barbara & Bob Anderson

Heather Vail, Polly Swenson, Peggy Mohr, & Nancy Law

John Dickerson, Milton Parker, Hedley Smith, & Nancy Law

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Lowcountry Social Diary

By Lanier Laney

October 21, 2010

Happy Birthday to one of the Lowcountry’s most celebrated and beloved cookbooks–’Sea Island Seasons,’ which turns 30 this month. Conceived by Nancy Pearson and Caroline Trask as a way to generate funds for the Open Land Trust whose goal it was (and still is) to preserve and protect the natural visual character of the Lowcountry, it turned out to be a major success story to this day, being hailed by Town & Country Magazine as one of the “100 Best Regional Cookbooks in America”.  It took the pair almost two years of volunteer work to pull the cookbook together from over 1,400 recipes submitted from the area’s best cooks.  The beautiful cover was done by local artist Nancy Rhett. It’s currently in its 10th printing and has sold over 75,000 copies! The hundreds of thousands of dollars raised from the sale of the cookbook over the years has contributed to saving over 80 properties in our area (so far) that preserves the best of what the Lowcountry has to offer–the beautiful views over the marshes, the wildlife, and our pristine water.

Shirley Staggs, Twyliah Kerr and Betty Mathews along with a host of volunteers got the cookbook for sale in 48 states in America and it was featured on The Today Show twice.   Many thanks from all of us here in Beaufort who daily appreciate the fruits of your hard work all those years ago and doing so much to keep Beaufort beautiful!  The cookbook is for sale at  many shops downtown and The Elliot House office of Open Land Trust or online at www.openlandtrust.com.

Next Friday, Oct. 29th, put on a costume and plan to attend the Jr. Service League’s first Halloween Bash as a fundraiser for women and children in need in Beaufort County.  The Real Hot Stuff band from Charleston will be playing. There will be a full bar, a midnight buffet and a costume contest.   The tax deductible tickets are $35 a piece ($60 for a couple). It’s at the Boat House, 247 Robert Smalls Parkway from 6-8p.m.

Social Trends this fall in Beaufort:

Spontaneous, stay-at-home house parties where everyone brings their favorite bottle of ‘value’ wine (aka cheap).  No formal dinner is served, just heavy hors d’ Oeuvre which guests also can bring.  It’s a great way for people to still get together and socialize without spending a lot of money in these tough financial times.  As someone said to me “I love these wine parties because you can finally hear each other talk and more importantly–hear all the gossip!.” Invites are being sent via text messaging only hours (or minutes) before the fun begins.

Merrill Lynchs Ed Like, Lauren Pearson, Katie Phifer, & Jack Cunningham

Merrill Lynch Supports Local Arts:   Kudos to Lauren Pearson, Jack Cunningham, and Katie Phifer, local financial advisors from Merrill Lynch, who after watching local opportunities in the arts diminish over the past year decided to focus on one philanthropic partner for 2010 – 2011: the Beaufort Orchestra under Maistro Fred Devyatkin. They are supporting the Orchestra because they want to help create a legacy for future generations to enjoy all that the Beaufort Orchestra has to offer from beautiful concerts throughout the year to engaging our youth to participate in the Youth Orchestra.  Here are some pics from the reception at the Rhett House on last monday night for visiting world renowned pianist Daniel Adni.  Local music angel Martha Hoke, sponsored Mr. Adni’s visit and his performances here. She became aware of his artistry in Britain when she attended the Romanian Arts and Music Festival three years ago. She and Mr. Adni began a correspondence that led to this opportunity to bring him to Beaufort to perform with the Beaufort Symphony Orchestra.  Thanks Martha for helping to keep the music scene in Beaufort ‘World Class’.

Weekend  Social Calendar:

Heather Metcalfe book signing (Nancy Law‘s daughter) Thurs. Oct 21 @ Rhett House, wine & cheese 6-8 p.m.

Pat Whitehead artist reception @ USCB gallery Fri. Oct 22  5:30.

Pat Conroy & John Warley book signing Sat. Oct. 23rd, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Verdier House.

Cheeseburgers in Paradise, a fundraiser to benefit Friends of Caroline Hospice, Oct. 23, 6-9 p.m. @ Port Royal Landing Marina, $25 a person

Overheard:

“I’ve just hit ‘critical mass’–if I gain even one more ounce, I won’t be able to fit into a single thing I own.”

Charles Frost

John Cartwright

Margo Freund & Martha Hoke

Shannon Erickson, Kendall Erickson, & Ron Maddox

Susan Beekman & Fran Newton

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Back to the Future

By Lanier Laney

October 14, 2010

Publisher Julie Hales and Editor Todd Wood of Beaufort Lifestyle Magazine

Congratulations and Happy Birthday are in order for Julie Hales, & Todd Wood along with Judy Smolek and Amber Williams for a successful first year launch of their Beaufort Lifestyle Magazine.  Quite an achievement during such a ‘challenging’ financial year.  Southern Graces did a great job catering their celebration party at the Quality Inn.  Here are some pics from that event for you.

SCAD Architecture Chair Scott Singeisen with wife Jen, & daughters Zoe and Piper

Kudos to Beaufort Three-Century Project’s Executive Director Deborah Johnson and all the volunteers for the past year who have successfully put on a full lecture series, symposiums, and the two events this past weekend–the fascinating Expo 2011 The Future Form of Historic Beaufort at the Verdier House which will be on display all month with the winning architect and planners chosen at a ceremony on Oct. 31st at 3p.m.  Present at the well attended opening event, conceived by Teri Norris of the Beaufort County planning staff, were architects Jane and Michael  Frederick (who have entries in the competition),  noted Architectural Historian and Expert  Colin Brooker and his wife, architect Jane Bruce Brooker along with the Chair of the Department of Architecture at SCAD Scott Singeisen with his lovely family (wife Jen and daughters Zoe and Piper–pictured).  Scott told me that there are four SCAD students and graduates in the competition.  Let’s hope that some of the great restoration and planning that has transformed Savannah for the better spreads here to Beaufort.   It was exciting to see all the artistic projections for Beaufort’s future by all the entrants.

Photographers Paul Nurnberg & Susan Deloach

Down the street, Deborah Johnson also helped launch another successful Beaufort Three Century Project,  a beautiful photography exhibit by Susan Deloach and Paul Nurnberg called Treasures in the Attic, that documents items in the upstairs of the old Lipsitz Department store before it closed.  Many folks attending shared wonderful stories about growing up in Beaufort and shopping at Lipsitz.  This fascinating show moves on to the Shoofly Kitchen & Cafe on Boundary St. who catered the event.

The Beaufort Three Century project is wrapping up a full year of events and projects.  Deborah is excited about their four books coming out next year about different aspects of Beaufort’s history and a documentary film about Joe Frazier that will have a special screening in Beaufort.  Thanks Deborah from all of us who live in Beaufort for your good work on our town’s behalf!

On next Thursday, Oct. 21st., between 6-8pm you are invited for a wine &cheese reception at the Rhett House Inn hosted by Marianne Harrison and Nancy Law for Nancy’s daughter Heather Metcalfe who will be signing her new book ‘Voices of Afghanistan’.   Heather is a former Beaufort resident (a legal aid for Coda here) and the step daughter of the much liked late Father Jim Law.   Voices of Afghanistan is a moving visual and written first person account by the women and children of that country and the repression they experienced with a total loss of freedom and schooling under the harsh regime of the Taliban.  100% of the book’s $30 tax deductible cost goes toward scholarships for children at the Mashale Noor School in Mazar-e Sharif (70 boys and girls, who would not be able to afford to attend school) and hiring new teachers.  Heather is the founder of the non profit Artfully Unforgotten  (artfullyunforgotten.com to see and hear more about the book and the very worthy efforts of her organization).

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Fall is in the Air

By Lanier Laney

October 7, 2010

Pamela Brownstein and BIFF Director Ron Tucker. Photo by Mark Shaffer

Congrats to Pamela Brownstein who won the Beaufort International Film Festival’s 2011 Poster Contest.  Out of 65 entrees, Pamela had two poster designs in the top 10 finalists (!) that were chosen in an anonymous judging by a panel led by gallery owner Deanna Bowdish.   Pamela and husband Daniel Brownstein, who works for the Solicitors office are a smart fun couple that moved into town from Bluffton not too long ago.  They had both worked for the Island Packet and Pamela recently worked for Hilton Head Monthly until accepting a job as an artistic director for this paper starting with last week’s issue.

Welcome aboard Pam!

Another new couple downtown is a couple from Connecticut that recently bought Charlie Chetty’s former home on Laurens St.  They also have a home on Martha’s Vineyard and felt that Beaufort is like a warmer Southern version of that famous Island town.   Only with friendlier people! — Well of course, it’s Beaufort.   Their names are Joe and Charlene Cusano.  If you are in the neighborhood, say hello.  They have to return to Connecticut in November and December to care for ailing parents, and hope to rent out the house furnished for those two months, so if you know anyone that needs a nice place to stay on the Point, let them know. 860-305-1102

Many of you know the wonderful couple Barbara and John Warley,  they moved here from Virginia after many years in San Miguel de Allende Mexico.  John was Pat Conroy‘s best friend at the Citadel where they played basketball together.  John has  just written a wonderful book called Bethesda’s Child, a political genetics thriller, for which Pat has written the preface.  John will be signing copies of his book alongside Pat at the Verdier House, downtown, on Saturday Oct. 23rd from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at 801 Bay Street as part of the Historic Beaufort Foundation’s Fall Festival of Homes which a portion of book sales will benefit.  Pat will sign Bethesda’s Child along with any of Pat’s books you bring to the signing.  Pat’s books are available down the street at MacIntosh Book Shoppe at 919 Bay St.

Speaking of couples.  Pat Conroy’s lovely and talented wife Cassandra King Conroy just spoke to a literary group at Persimmon Creek Vineyards and Cottages in Clayton Georgia (in the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains) about her recent best selling novel ‘Queen of Broken Hearts’.  Persimmon Creek Vineyards has another important Beaufort connection as Beaufort native Caroline Hoogenboom is the winemaker there and is doing a great job I am told as the wines are now being sold in Atlanta’s top restaurants.  If you want to stay at a beautiful place this month and see the leaves turn color, you might want to spend a night in one of the three guest cottages there and give Caroline a big hello!  Here is the website for more info:  www.persimmoncreekwine.com/cottages/cottages.html On Oct 7: Georgia Perimiter College in Atlanta hosts, A Night with Pat Conroy and Cassandra King on the Clarkston campus, Cole Auditorium, 7:15, open to public  For event information contact debra.riggs @ gpc.edu

Save the date!  The fabulous Valentine Ball is on the horizon again, with the date now set for 2/12/2011. Anne Helm and Lisa Mazzeo are the two very capable Co-Chairs this year, so you know it’s going to be good.  There are lots of volunteer opportunities for this event that raises money for the Beaufort Memorial Hospital’s Emergency Room.  If you would like to get involved or attend the dinners or ball contact Brenda Mahoney at www.valentineball.org or call (843) 522-5832.

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Beaufort Honors Local Legend

By Lanier Laney

September 30, 2010

Heavyweight Champion Joe Frazier and his sister-in-law Miriam Frazier

The fall Beaufort Social Season got off to a big start this past weekend with 4 charity events in three days, which concluded with a congratulations dinner at Breakwater Restaurant for sports legend Joe Frazier on Monday after he received his Order of the Palmetto. The Order of the Palmetto is the highest civilian award bestowed by the State of South Carolina.  Joe, a native of Beaufort, has been living in Philadelphia and returned to his hometown to receive the The Order of Palmetto award from Governor Mark Sanford in a moving ceremony earlier at Waterfront Park.   Afterwards, John Trask III organized a wonderful dinner reception and congratulations for the boxing great at Breakwater, where Chef Gary Lang and Chef Beth Shaw prepared a special ‘Joe Frazier Dinner Menu’  honoring him and his friends.  Also present among the many well wishers were Heavyweight Champion, Larry Holmes, Heisman Trophy winner, George Rodgers, and renowned Madison Square Garden photographer, George Kalinsky.  Kalinsky photographed the very famous 1971 ‘Fight of the Century’ at Madison Square Garden which pitted undefeated Joe Frazier (26-0, 23 KOs) against the undefeated Heavy Weight title holder Muhammad Ali (31-0, 25KOs). Frazier defeated Ali that night in a grueling 15 round match and became the undisputed World Heavyweight Champion. The only other time that Ali was defeated for the Heavyweight Champion title was by Larry Holmes, also present at the dinner that night.  Congratulations to Joe Frazier for this fine honor.

Alice Wright, Lesley Wolff, & Danette Frazier

Matt McAlhaney, Heavyweight Champion Larry Holmes, & Evy Trask

Mayor Billy Keyserling and Madison Square Garden photographer George Kalinsky

Tom Davis, John Daugs, & Carl Davis

Shindig at the Shack Committee Members from left: Beth Langehans, Claudia McKeown, Laura Trask, Jered Krascewski, Deanna Kraszewski, Katie Huebel, Bonnie Westover

On the previous Thursday night, the weekend got started with a fundraiser for new gym equipment for the Boys and Girls club hosted by Jered and Deanna Kraszewski, decorated by Katie Huebel.   Jered, owner of Get Fit on Lady’s Island, gave an impassioned speech about the importance of combating childhood obesity and starting right here in our own back yard with a goal to improve and upgrade the physical fitness equipment at the Boundary St. Boys and Girls Club  facility; and, he’s establishing, along with his committee, the non-profit Fit Fund to do so.  Their key fundraising event to raise money for the much-needed new equipment, will be the ‘Shindig at the Shack’ at Coosaw on Nov. 6.  The event will feature a live band, food, beer &wine. Tickets are $40.  If you would like to donate or get involved in the upcoming fundraising ‘Shindig,’ contact Jered at 843-524-2FIT.

Bonnie Hargrove, Melia Everidge, & Nicole Givens

Project Runway Judges Michael Givens, Judy Bixler, & Laura Trask

On Friday,  Project Runway at the UCSB performing Arts Center was held to benefit future Children’s Theater productions there.  Contestants were from Pat Wilcox‘s Art of Couture class, and they will also continue to do all the costumes for the rest of the year for Beaufort’s Children’s Theater and Beaufort Theater Company Productions.  Judges for the fun event were Laura Trask, Judy Bixler, and Michael Givens.  Michael also built all the sets and put together the media presentation with Mike Hudson.  Thanks to him for that and to Michael’s wife Nicole Givens who produced the whole event flawlessly; and, with husband Michael, really brought the feel of New York to the Auditorium along with Bonnie Hargrove (Director of the Center for the Arts there), Maleia Everidge (M.C). Maura Rodine and Denny Parker, who did the reception.

Boots and Bling Committee Members from left, bottom row: Lorin Siegel, Amy Pinckney, Wendy Lynn. From left, top row: Mike Bostwick, Ryan Christian, Amy Roberts, Shannon Holwadel, Lori Elliott, Kelly Collins (Event Chairperson), Leigh Ann Pingree, Katherine Harrelson, Heather Midyette. Not pictured: Maureen Butler, Cher Milner, Ty Reichel

The YMCA had it’s first fundraiser ever with the successful ‘Boots and Bling’ last Saturday at Butler Marine. (Thanks to Chris and Maureen Butler for their generosity). The event raised over $15,000 to help redo the aerobic studio room (new floors, ceiling, stereo system, and mats).  Music was by Shark Rodeo.  Wine and Spirits donated all the wine and Dockside, Plums, and Groupers provided food.  Mr. Frank Bond will be greatly missed at the Y and by all of Beaufort.  This is the first of a planned annual fundraising event.  Congrats to the committee who worked so hard to make it all happen so well (pictured) and all the volunteers, sponsors and folks that bought tickets.

Just down the road at Celadon, a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society put on by the Xi Gamma Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity was a big hit, thanks to the efforts of all the hardworking volunteers and committee members. It was their annual ‘Alpha Farewell to Summer Luau’.  And was catered by Bg Joe’s Bar-B-Q.

All in all, it was a great weekend for charitable fundraising in big hearted Beaufort.

More photos of Joe Frazier at the Presentation of the Order of the Palmetto

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Photos of Joe Frazier at City Java Tuesday Morning at “Joe with Joe”

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Cocktail Party at Jered and Deanna Kraszewski to Kick Off Shindig at the Shack


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Project Runway: Beaufort Style


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YMCA’s Boots and Bling

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Beaufort’s Little Kindnesses

By Lanier Laney

September 23, 2010

I always try to highlight in my column what I think is unique or good about Beaufort, and yes we have beautiful views and gorgeous homes, and the water is of course great; but to me, over time, what has stood out most that sets Beaufort apart from any of the big cities I have lived in, or even Charleston, or Savannah for that matter are ‘all the little kindnesses’ that occur around Beaufort each day between people here.  Take my neighbor of ten years Mr. Cook, for example, who just passed away at age 90 after having lived all his life in Beaufort.  Soon after moving in, I started finding thoughtful items like a bag of boiled peanuts or fresh picked collards dropped off at my gate.  Then one day there appeared a brown shopping bag, and inside was a birdhouse he had made and painted with my initials on the roof. And I didn’t even know he new my name.  Then I started noticing that there were similar birdhouses with initials on their roofs all over the neighborhood.  Turns out Mr. Cook had made and given away possibly hundreds of birdhouses to people over the years.  Then I started noticing how many other kindnesses happen on a regular daily basis around Beaufort.  People drop off casseroles when people are moving or just because they made an extra one.  My neighbor got a styrofoam cooler of fresh caught fish one day and still doesn’t know who dropped it off.  My 88 yr. old neighbor Dottie McDaniel once dropped off her favorite poem about trees along with a lovely note, which started me into the habit of dropping off items on her back door too.  At Christmas time there was suddenly a deluge of thoughtful items, homemade jams, vinegars and even bloody Mary mix.  One year I fell ill around Thanksgiving, and Evy Trask dropped off an entire homemade turkey with all the fixings, all the sides and even dessert!   And I’ve heard about so many other thoughtful things that Beaufortonians do for each other as a natural part of their lives here.

You have to understand why all this kind behavior was so strange to me. I had just spent 20 years in a city (L.A) when you would regularly read in the paper about someone who had died in their house, and it took six months before anyone noticed.   That would never happen in Beaufort.  People notice, they care, and the gossip turns into a network of support that holds the town together.  I found out at the funeral that Mr. Cook had a whole group of friends that had looked out for him over the years since his children had all moved to Virginia.  They would take him shopping or drive him to the doctor or drop off a bunch of fresh vegetables.

Mr. Cook also taught me that a smile and a kind hello is also a kind gift as he passed my house everyday on the way to the post office for ten years.  To been seen and recognized and appreciated by another human being is something unique and special we have in abundance here in Beaufort that takes many, many forms all day long.  It took long years of living in some pretty harsh cities to appreciate the kindness that is Beaufort.

After Mr. Cook’s funeral, I found the now squirrel chewed birdhouse he gave me had fallen off its nail and onto the ground.  I picked it up and remembered his kindness to me when I hardly knew anyone in town.  His birdhouse may rot away, but the kindness of his act in giving it never will be forgotten.

Thank you Mr. Cook.

Adorable Rental of the Week

Just on the market, a restored 1878 cottage that looks out to a beautiful view of the water and sailboats at 1703 Bay Street. Walk to downtown.  One bedroom, high ceilings. All new appliances and granite countertops. $1250 a month. Call 843-592-0400 to nab this cutie!

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Restaurant Rumors & Rumblings

By Lanier Laney

September 16, 2010

After the recent closing of Kathleen’s, there has been such a flood of rumors this past week about other restaurants closing or for sale in Beaufort that I decided to check on some of the stories for you.  The biggest one was that Wren was closing.  This turned out not to be the case; but, they did close the cheese shop to make room for more seating, which was probably the source of this rumor.  Nora Honeycut, one of my favorite bartenders in town, assured me that Wren was indeed open and going strong.

Rumor number two was that Groupers was closing.  I found out that instead of closing, the owner of Emily’s has bought it.  Not sure if a name change is in the offering, we shall wait and see.  I did hear it is going to be more seafood oriented, which is good I would think for such a pretty location on the water.

Rumor number three was that Friendly’s in Port Royal was closing and from everything I’ve been able to find out about that rumor, it is true.

Not really a restaurant, but still a seller of food items downtown, The Lollipop Store was also rumored to be for sale and from all reports I’ve gotten, this is true.

There was a rumor that Breakwater Restaurant is now open on Sunday.  This turns out to be true, a ray of positivity amidst all this closing gloom.  Starting this Sunday, I am told they will now be open on Sundays for dinner with the game on in the bar and new special family ‘comfort food’ items on the menu in the restaurant.

Events Chefs From L-R: Jim Spratling (Patois) Bill Hogan KeWanda Thompson (Board member, Lowcountry Food Bank) Nick Borreggine (Paninis) Mark Smith (Chair of the LCFB board) Brian Waters (Saltus) rear - Jermaine Husser (Exec. Dir., LCFB) Scott Blue, Beth Shaw (Breakwater) rear - Richard Wilson (Maggies Pub) Gary Lang (Breakwater). Photo courtesy of Riann Mihiylov

Farmers Table Banquet in Habersham. Photo courtesy of Riann Mihiylov

In further restaurant news, many of the top Chefs in Beaufort got together and volunteered their services cooking this past weekend for The Farmer’s Table Dinner at Habersham that raised money for The Low Country Food Bank.  It was a beautifully done, well-attended event that raised money for the very important Low Country Food Bank, which distributes over 10 million pounds of food to a network of more than 300 faith-based and nonprofit food programs in Coastal South Carolina.

The Low Country Food Bank also has wonderful programs for children, the elderly, and through their Growing Food Locally program in Beaufort County, have helped small-scale farming enterprises become profitable through professional training, free consultations, small pay advances, and a guaranteed safety net purchase of pre-selected crops. This has helped many or our local farmers get going.  Kudos to Chef Jim Spratling for taking the lead on this important event, to all the Chefs who participated and to LCFB Exec. Director Jermaine Husser, and board members Mark Smith (Chair) and Kewanda Thompson pictured here with the Chefs along with some other pics from the lovely banquet.  Special thanks to Patrick Gallager, who’s beautiful farm at Habersham hosted part of the event and to all the volunteers who helped out. To find out more about getting involved with the Low Country Food Bank and their many fine programs, go to www.lowcountryfoodbank.org/programs-services

Prof. Jan Nordby Gretlund, Senior Lecturer at the University of Southern Denmark is a world expert on Southern Literature, having written 10 books on the subject.  He’s held Fulbright fellowships at Vanderbilt, Southern Mississippi, and South Carolina Universities.  Next Friday, Sept. 24th, Prof. Gretlund will be in Beaufort speaking about Pam Durban’s novel ‘So Far Back’  from 1:00 – 2:30 pm, in USCB’s Performing Arts Center, room 104.

‘So Far Back’ is about life in Charleston in 1837 and 1989, simultaneously. The focus is on the same two families, one black and one white. Durban asks questions: What happened to both families when the cotton market caved in and the yellow fever came, and what happened when Hugo struck and the last sit-ins took place? What happened with the relationship between these two SC families in the 162-year period of shared life?   The SC novelist’s book is available at the OLLI Office at USCB on Carteret St.

Prof. Gretlund’s new collection ‘Still in Print: The Southern Novel Today’, will appear from USC Press this month and has a chapter on Pam Durban.  We welcome back this distinguished speaker.

The charming Sharon Schwartz will be holding a wonderful wine tasting at Bill’s Liquor this Thursday from 4-6.  Sharon will be repping 6 wines, both white and red, all under $15; and, most considerably so, all getting over 90 plus points from Robert Parker, America’s #1 Wine critic.   All these wines were sourced and brought to America by renowned Importer, Eric Soloman.

Food & Wine Magazine, awarded Eric Best Wine Importer in America at the 2006 American Wine Awards stating “Why he’s so great is that he champions small-producer wines that emphasize a sense of place rather than winemaking technique” said Food & Wine.

Eric Solomon founded European Cellars in his New York City living room in 1989 with just two Châteauneuf-du-Pape producers. In addition to those first two obscure (now famous) properties, Domaine de Marcoux and Domaine de la Janasse, Solomon is now working with over one hundred wineries in five countries. Solomon’s biggest score, in the early 1990s, was Clos Erasmus, from Spain’s then-unknown Priorat region. “I fell in love twice,” Solomon likes to say—”first with the wine, which he helped launch into the stratosphere, and then with the winemaker, Daphne Glorian” (now Mrs. Eric Solomon). —By the way, Robert Parker awarded Daphne’s ‘Clos Erasmus’ wine a perfect 100 points!   He continues to champion native grapes (Spain’s new As Sortes white, made from Godello) and uncover superstars-in-the-making (South Africa’s Columella).  Thanks Sharon for bringing more fine wines to Beaufort!

Sam Bluntzer was accidentally omitted as a supporting committee member of last week’s successful Bands, Brews, and Bar B Que fundraiser. Sam worked hard for two whole days helping make it happen. Good Job Sam!

Overheard:

“I’m afraid by the time I learn to use those hideous new parking meters downtown, all the stores will be gone.”

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It’s Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas

By Lanier Laney

September 9, 2010

Marianne Harrison & Southern Living Home Editor Jennifer Kopf

–on Newcastle Street that is.  If you happened to be driving around the historic district and did a double take when you spotted a house completely decorated for Christmas in August, then you weren’t mistaken.  Every window and door had a fresh red-ribboned wreath, and the inside was covered with every beautiful Christmas decoration you can imagine, including a huge live tree with ornaments.  Every piece had been flown in by Birmingham based Southern Living Magazine for a photo spread of Marianne and Steve Harrison’s house for their December issue.  And after the photo shoot, all those pieces (which took a crew 5 days to set up) had to be reboxed and shipped back to Birmingham.

I spoke with Southern Living Home Editor, Jennifer Kopf, who was there supervising a team that included stylist Mathew Gleason and photographer Lucas Allen who was flown in from New York.   Jennifer thought that Beaufort was such a picturesque Southern town with it’s distinctive Lowcountry architecture and that the Harrison house presented them with the perfect opportunity for the magazine to combine both a beautiful home and a lovely travel destination.

The Des Moines native has been working in the magazine business for 15 years. (Previously at Country Home before coming to Southern Living).   Said Jennifer,  “I love my job, it combines my great passion of homes, decorating, and shopping.  You get to see so many beautiful homes and meet so many interesting people.  Southern Living has been just a wonderful place to work.  I grew up in southeast Missouri and have just loved traveling all over, discovering so many beautiful places in the South.”

I can tell you that the results of Jennifer and her talented team are just stunning, and you will get to see the final results yourself in the December issue of Southern Living.

Louis Bruce, Mark Guilloud, & Clark Trask

Kudos to Janie Lackman, Kit Bruce, Martha Lynn Webb, Worth Lippfert and over 100 volunteers who pulled off such a successful Bands, Brews, & BBQ this past weekend .   BB&BBQ, an event sponsored by Town Center, raised over $15,000 for Friends of Caroline Hospice. Many local businesses also generously pitched in for the event.  Keith’s Plumbing and Powell Electric Company ran all the temporary plumbing and power lines for free. Atlantic Rentals gave them reduced prices for tents, Easy Rentals supplied generators at no cost, Palmetto Brewing  Co. donated 10 kegs of beer and Pepsi donated all the soft drinks and water.   FRIENDS, which gives free hospice service to its clients is entirely dependent on events like this one to continue operating and serving the Lowcountry.  They plan on making it a yearly event, the last week in February and will be having their next one in 2011, 6 months from now.

Pictured are People’s Choice winners ‘Louis and Clark Exhibition’ made  of Louis Bruce, Mark Guilloud, Clark Trask and Troy Alcott (not pictured).  They started their cooker at midnight the night before, and I snapped this shot at 7 am after they had been up all night tending to the cooker.  ” No Pig Left Behind” took 2nd place in both Butts and Ribs, which gave him the Grand Slam Award (a total of $1,500 in prize money).  Brentt Toole of Palm Key Catering won 1st place in Butts .  He can be found at the Saturday morning Port Royal Farmers market selling his Barbeque, which is, of course, delish.

2010 BBQ Guest Judges

Beaufort guest judges chose Seth Watari from Some-R-Swine as the winner of  “Anything But Pork” on Friday night for his ‘Chicken Bog.’ When asked how he would like his check made out, Mr. Watari said, “Make it out to Friends of Caroline Hospice.”

Mega yacht Gran Finale

The Beaufort Marina looked a bit like St. Tropez this past weekend with the docking of a huge megayacht (147 feet) called the ‘Gran Finale,’ with its own uniformed crew.   Based out of St. Lucia, and according to the Robb Report, is owned by a Ferrari enthusiast who wanted a similarly sporty yacht that would cruise well in high seas.  He hired Ken Keefe, a bay area yachting professional who oversaw the building of the boat by Delta Marine.  The boat was designed by Juan Carlos Espinosa and has been called one of the most beautiful on the high seas.  It’s been all over the Caribbean, as far north as the St. Lawrence, and east to the Canary Islands.  The yacht had come from Savannah earlier in the week and will soon head on to Charleston.

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Cheers to Jaimie!

By Lanier Laney

September 2, 2010

Jamie and Daniel Bost

Bar Buddies

Kimberly Smith and Jamie

One of the great things about Beaufort is that there are a number of watering holes around town where, like the T.V. show ‘everybody knows your name,’  and in the case of several long time bartenders, also know what you drink before you have to say it. There’s Terry Guin at Breakwater, Jay at Emily’s, Doug at Plums, and Mo (with her trademark pigtails) at Hemingways, to name a few, and up until last Saturday night, there was Jaimie Bost at Saltus.  Known for her always warm welcoming smile and ‘the best dimples in Beaufort.’  She is ending a five year stint there to go to focus on school and finish a degree in Accounting.   Her husband, Daniel, will remain at the bar, but I’m sure he’ll miss working every night beside his lovely wife.  (And Jaimie’s a beautiful person on the inside as well, as her legions of fans will attest.)  She’s not leaving Beaufort though; so we will still see her around town.

Said Jaimie  “The staff and customers will always have a special place in my heart. I’ve met so many people over the past five years and it truly was a great experience. Aside from working side by side with my husband, I’ll miss Jason and Chris the most. These two always had me laughing and kept me on my toes! Thanks Saltus Family for the past five years, I’ll miss working with you!”

Jaimie will continue her job at The Lowcountry National Bank, so you can still see her there.

Is that a bit cooler air we are all feeling in the breeze?  Must be from all the folks silently praying for the crisp weather to return soon.  As you’ve probably noticed from the stream of R.V.’s and towed boats that have been leaving town in swarms these past few weeks, Labor Day weekend traditionally marks the end of the ‘summer set’  of residents and tourists in Beaufort and the beginning of the return of the so-called ‘snow birds’ that make up the winter version of Beaufort society.  Most don’t come back until late September/ October.  But the ‘social tide’ started to turn this week with the Harrisons returning from New York and the McMillan family from their summer in Newport among some of the early arrivals.  Welcome home everybody!

They are getting here just in time to hear about the hot topic with many of the ‘ladies who lunch’ around town.   Seems that everybody’s hair these days is looking a lot smoother and feeling softer in this awful humidity because of the ‘Brazilian Blowout,’ (a new process that relaxes, while strengthening and transforming the texture of your hair) they are doing at Limelight Salon.  “It’s a real miracle!” raved one socialite to me. “Perfect for the Lowcountry, as it fights the frizz,” said another.  It’s exclusive to Limelight  (on Carteret and Prince).  Makes me wish I had some hair to try the stuff!

Overheard at LT’s:

“Beaufort is not trailing behind every other town in America like everybody thinks! I know for a fact we are #1 in ‘skeeters, cheaters, and overeaters’!”

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Fresh Faces Around Town

By Lanier Laney

August 26, 2010

Fall is historically the start of the school year, and that also applies to medical school.

There are twenty-four 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year medical students currently in Beaufort (with 8 new faces added this year), rotating through the Beaufort Memorial Hospital, the Carolina Coastal Center, and the Coastal Carolina Medical Center among others.

They are there getting early exposure to clinical medicine as part of a program with A.T. Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (ATSU- SOMA) with the sponsoring institution for South Carolina being the Beaufort-Jasper-Hampton Comprehensive Health Services, Inc. where Roland Gardner is the C.E.O.

Last weekend Gardner held a lovely welcoming reception for the new and returning students at Saltus.  It was hosted by Faith Polkey, MD, MPH, the Lead Regional Director of Medical Education & LaFrance Ferguson, MD, who is the Chief Medical Officer for BJHCHS, along with Administrative Assistant Keshia Bryan.

For the majority of the eight new students, this is not only their first time in the Lowcountry, but their first time in the South.  So if you see them around town in your travels, be sure and give them a big warm Beaufort hello.  Some have only been here a few days I am told (and probably still trying to get use to this humidity!).

Dr. Faith Polkey, Mayor Billy, Dr. La France Ferguson

La France Ferguson Regional Director of Medical Education for ATSU-SUMA

Faith Polkey, M.D, MPH, Ray Polkey, & Keshia Bryan

Jenifer McKenzie & Stefan Mayering

Medical students Lori de la Portilla & Erin Murphy with Dr. Marlo Smith (center)

Simrot Singh & Kevin Patel

Students Kevin Lougee & Craig Jenkins

Students Meredith Johnson & Vince Call

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Monsoon (Social) Season

By Lanier Laney

August 19, 2010

Lawdy!  All this nonstop rain!  My 88-year-old neighbor says she doesn’t remember in her lifetime in Beaufort when it’s rained this much, and I believe her. Everyone’s been going stir crazy being kept inside due to the rain.  Hopefully, this cold front that has caused all this rain is the first wave of cooler fall temperatures (I can hope, can’t I?).

Laura Baker

Kudos to local Interior Designer, Laura Baker whose downtown Beaufort cottage remodel is featured in 10(!) full color pages of the new Fall issue of Renovation Style Magazine (available at Lowe’s).  I’ve been in her house, and I can tell you it’s a stunner!  Laura is one of those designers that ‘get’s everything right.’  The colors, the fabrics, to the serene style–it’s tasteful without being stuffy; and after Laura has lived in and decorated several large Historic Houses in Beaufort (including Dean Hall Plantation), it’s wonderful to see all her signature touches work so well in her new ‘downsized’ one bedroom cottage. (I guarantee you’ll want to move to one after seeing hers!)  Laura did the redesign of her cottage all herself, but she and her partners at M Interiors (843-379-7465), Lisa Mykleby, and Muffin Tullos are known for their very well received commercial work around town like the interior decor of Wren Restaurant and the stunning new Greyhound Flats guest rooms across from Blackstone’s Cafe.  They currently are working on houses at Bray’s Island, Spring Island, Old Point and Charleston, but welcome the opportunity for new projects.  (Bet your house ends up in a magazine if you use them!)

Andy Jacksons Tesla Sportscar

After several readers asked me to ‘find out who is driving the new yellow Lamborghini convertible around town,’ the owner and his lovely wife happened to show up at a wine tasting at Breakwater where I met them and even got to ride in the car!  Turns out it’s not a Lamborghini, but is built on the look-alike frame of a Lotus.  It’s a Tesla, a new type of electric vehicle, and there are only two in Beaufort (a yellow one and a blue one).  The yellow one is owned by Dr. Andy Jackson of Lady’s Island, and I was amazed at how quiet the ride was.  The only thing you hear is a quiet whirring of the wheels.  And get this…a full charge of the battery is under $5 and it lasts for a full 220 miles!  Due to the stored up ‘torque,’ there is no lag time when you step on ‘the gas’ (I mean ‘the electricity’).  It shoots from 0-60 in just 3.9 seconds! -Which feels like you are in a rocket ship when  you are in the thing as it silently accelerates.  Dr. Jackson told me “I bought it because I think it’s a neat car with great performance.  As the technology used to make it matures, the price will drop, just like computers, and then they can put the technology in more affordable models.  Tesla is coming out with a sedan in 2012″.  Who knew ‘green technology’ could be so much fun!  Thanks for supporting this new clean technology Dr. J!

Chef Beth Shaw, Vintner Carolyn Wente, and Chef Gary Lang of Breakwater

In the pantheon of California ‘Wine Country Royalty,’ Carolyn Wente has to be at least a ‘Grand Duchess’ (if not a Queen). Her family, the Wentes are the oldest wine making family in California (128 years). Their wines have been winning awards worldwide since 1939. They were the first to introduce the term Sauvignon Blanc on a wine label in America, and they still make a great one.  Carolyn is the fourth generation to head the company.  She and her husband, Buxton (a New Orleans native) have built a house at Bray’s Island and hope to come to the Lowcountry about 4 or 5 times a year.  Over 60 people turned out last Friday to warmly welcome Carolyn, her husband and son and appreciate her fine wines.

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His and Her Birthday Bash a Smash!

By Lanier Laney

August 12, 2010

Ivy Liipfert and Mike Rainey

Laura Trask, Craig Gering and Jane Gering

A couple of hundred revelers were trapped inside of Saltus for hours on Friday night during that monstrous thunderstorm that seemed to go on forever.  There were two huge birthday celebrations crammed in the bar there.

Lantz and the lovely Jen Price (visiting from New Hampshire) threw a wonderful birthday bash for Mike Rainey and friends. Here are some pics from that fun event. Present at Mike’s party was Beaufort newcomer Jane Long Gering (who by the way, everyone who’s met her thinks is terrific!)  The Greenwich, Conn. native lives in Los Angeles with her husband Craig (who is a big CAA agent) and two children. They rented Marshlands on the Point for the month of July and had a ball here. Jane’s folks own a house on Spring Island, and that’s how she found quirky Beaufort.  I also heard she’s a great mother and fabulous horsewoman who rides everyday on Spring Island.  We’ll all welcome her back when she returns in December.

Birthday Girl Annie

Across the room, the wonderful Annie Powell celebrated her birthday with a large number of fun well-wishers in an homage to P. Diddy’s famous ‘Hampton’s White Party’ (where all the guests are asked to wear white), and they did!  Here are some pics from that elegant event.   Happy birthday Annie and Mike!

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The Homecoming

By Lanier Laney

August 5, 2010

Holly, Grace and Claire Jahn

Front row from left: Katy Kilgore, Abby Mitchell, Grace Jahn and Claire Jahn. Back row from left: Elizabeth harding, Maggie Mitchell, MJ Simmons, Katie Phifer and Jennifer Hawkins

Rosemary Cuppia, Kathy Kilgore, Mary Sanders

If you graduated from Beaufort Academy in 1977 or ’78, you probably remember Holly Jahn (Holly Healy then).  She has been living in Arizona all these years raising a family, but has recently retuned to her beloved Beaufort with her husband and bought a house on the Point; she has been renting the Myers house on Bay Street where the Prince of Tides was filmed.

Holly has returned with her two beautiful (and very nice) daughters Claire and Grace who are identical twins.  They both are in college in California, but are looking forward to getting to know Beaufort after hearing so much about it from their mother.  Here is a picture of Holly’s high school buddies Mary Sanders, Kathy Kilgore, and Rosemary Cuppia. Holly hosted a birthday party with Katie Phifer on her porch this past weekend for their friend, the one and only, Abby Mitchell.

Members of the Community Garden downtown sponsored by the Open Land Trust have started to prepare for late summer and fall gardens.  If you are interested in signing up for a plot, email Master Gardener Laura Rose at LRose@Clemson.edu. She is in charge there.  Now is a good time to check soil for pH, I am told.  It costs $6, but you can also get recommendations for home vegetable gardens.  Fall is the time to add lime if needed. Call 255-6060 ext. 124 to get Will at the master gardener desk.  They are also at the Port Royal Farmer’s Market.  Which by the way, Kit Bruce has done a super job running this summer on Saturday mornings on Ribaut.

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There are 2 Lowcountry Social Diary Pages this Week. Please see below for more pictures.

Great job Sheri!

By Lanier Laney

July 29, 2010

Sheri Little did a great job as Commodore this year.  Bravo to her and all the Directors, committee members and volunteers who pulled off such a great event!

I heard there were almost 2000 people and 5OO boats at the sandbar on the final Saturday.  That might be the biggest floating party on the planet!

Lovely Anne Gallant celebrated her birthday with friends at Breakwater. Louise Hodges, sitting at the bar said. “When we first moved to Beaufort from Charlotte we went out to a restaurant for the first time and we were sitting there and suddenly in walked about a half a dozen of the most beautiful girls I had ever seen in my life. Much better looking than any girls in Charlotte! Perfect hair, elegant dresses and high high heeled shoes.  I turned to my husband and said “Hey, we didn’t move to a hick town after al!l’ . That night we started calling them ‘The Beauties of Beaufort’.”   Here are some of the ‘beauties’ present: Marjorie Gray, Amy Trask, Frances Stowe, Jackie Adams, Laura Trask , & Laura McAlhaney, just to name a few.

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Green Drinks Meets at Breakwater

July 29, 2010

Photo taken by Paul Nurnberg

Greendrinks Beaufort is an informal group that meets monthly to gather, socialize and discuss environmental topics and ‘green related’ issues and businesses in Beaufort. It’s a truly great group of people and they welcome newcomers. Meetings are held every third Tuesday each month from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Location of meetings rotates each month.

The steering committee is composed of Paul Nurnberg, Kim Gundler, Burton Sauls, Amber Von Harten, Teresa Bruce, Gary Geboy and Andrea Malloy.

The speaker was Michael Murphy of Preservation Tree Care.  He is part of a group that has come up with a list of big trees in Beaufort (mostly live oaks) that were around 300 years ago that the original founders of Beaufort walked beneath.

To sign up for their email list, send a message to: greendrinksbeaufort@gmail.com

The next meeting is August 17th.

All Photos Below were taken by Paul Nurnberg

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Lowcountry Social Diary

Water Festival Begins with a Blast!… (of Pepper Spray?!)

By Lanier Laney

July 22, 2010

Wow, from teen riots to  bikini ‘dance offs’ between boats at the sand bar the Water Festival roared into town this past week.   The trend this year for locals ‘in the know’ is to take a cab to and from events and even out to dinner at restaurants.  Seems no one wants to risk the high price of a DUI these days, so I think a cab is a very smart way to go.  Now someone just needs to invent a ‘water taxi’ service to and from the sand bar to avoid getting those pesky BUI’s also.

With all types of people roaming around downtown it’s a good time to be vigilant.

I heard one resident on the Point came out of their house the other A.M. and almost tripped over a total stranger lying sprawled on their front porch.  Good news, the stranger wasn’t dead, just dead drunk.  Just shows it’s good to have insurance just the same. Lisa Estes told me that her mother Meredith Helms, was a long time insurance agent  at Lowcountry Insurance Services; but after 18 years there has moved to Turbeville Insurance and has been there a month. Good to know in case you need insurance to protect you from uninvited strangers who may pass out on your front porch and hit their head or break something and end up suing you!

Here are pics of some of our Beaufort Water festival beauties.

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Lorin Siegel turns 30!

By Lanier Laney

July 15, 2010

Dr. Mark and Lorin Siegel

I can’t believe Lorin Siegel has only been in Beaufort for a little over four years.

During that short time the Sumter native has volunteered for 5 local non-profits and charities that help our town. She’s a Docent for Historic Beaufort Foundation and on the Beaufort Memorial Hospital Foundation Valentine’s Ball, the YMCA fundraiser Boots and Bling, the Annual Croquet Tournament for AMI Kids Beaufort and the Kings for Kids Fishing Tournament Committees; not to mention she’s been a busy volunteer with the Junior Service League Beaufort for the past three years, and during her second year here chaired their signature event –the BBQ that the league hosts to raise money for the Boys and Girls Club of the Lowcountry.  Said Lorin “I feel so strongly about the B&GC because it gives our youth a safe place to go after school and keeps them out of trouble. Without events like the BBQ they may not be able to keep their doors open. That would be just awful. I gladly chaired the event because I have come to love Beaufort and the children and families that live in it.”

On top of all her volunteering, Lorin works full time with her husband Dr. Mark Siegel running the office of his Ophthalmology practice, Sea Island Ophthalmology and loves that work too.  Here are some pics from big-hearted Lorin’s recent 30 birthday with some of her girlfriends at Saltus.

Also the same night Warren Florence, the Director of Tennis at Palmetto Bluff had a surprise birthday celebration for his lovely wife Melissa Florence at Saltus.   Congrats to Melissa and Warren on their new baby Olive Ann that they just welcomed into the world less than two weeks ago.

Attention all art lovers!  In July and August, all galleries are open downtown on Fridays until 7 p.m.  There are 11 participating galleries and discounts at many fine restaurants in downtown Beaufort.  So you can gallery ‘hop’ and meet some of the artists.  It’s sponsored by the Guild of Beaufort Galleries.  See ya’ there!

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What a Great Fourth Weekend!

By Lanier Laney

July 8, 2010

The weather was great wasn’t it?!  (After that ghastly two weeks of heat and humidity).  The Independence Day ‘weekend’ kicked off on Thursday when a newly arrived group of F-16 fighter pilots took over the gathering table at the bar at Breakwater, and as soon as folks found out who they were, they started buying them rounds and welcoming them to town (from their home base in Florida I believe). When they got up to leave later that night, the whole bar stood and applauded them as they walked out.  It was a wonderful patriotic moment and made me proud to be a Beaufortonian and an American.

Also at Breakwater the next day, their new weekly Wine tasting and Jazz event at 5:30 called Fire Hot Fridays was a lot of fun.  I’ve included some pics from that event for you.  Steve Johnson provided the music.   I think of July as “Music Month” in Beaufort because of all the bands at Water Festival for two weeks but also because most of the bars and restaurants in town have bands and dancing or jazz every weekend. Over the 4th Walker Dean and Trey’s Aliens did their always great job at Plums, and the A Nickle Bag of Funk at Saltus really got the crowd moving. Leslie Adele is their wonderful lead singer.

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Jazz it up this 4th!

By Lanier Laney

July 1, 2010

For some reason, Beaufort seems to attract a wide diversity of interesting people, surprising for its small size and location.

For example, we have an Internationally renowned performance artist living here.   Steve Johnson, whose performance art collective The Fantastic Nobodies appeared at Art Basil in Miami last year along with performances all over the world from Berlin,  France, & London to the Czech Republic. Mr. Johnson had his first conceptual retrospective: The Museum of Modern Musical Men in 2006 in Brooklyn. He is a member of the acclaimed local poetry group Obstram Slabess. He currently is the Enrichment Director at E.C. Montessori and Grade School on Lady’s Island.

Steve’s beautiful and elegant Chilean wife, Josefina Blanc, teaches Spanish at Battery Creek High and is also working on her Masters in Philosophy.

Steve is also a musician, and has done soundtracks for independent films.

This Friday he will be doing his own brand of improvisational jazz along with two other musicians (called Steve Johnson’s Project) at Breakwater Restaurant (in the former Kitchen Store space between 5:30 and 7 this Friday July 2nd–to kick off our July 4th weekend. ) They have a wine tasting of five wines and hors d’ouevres. There’s a cover charge, half of which goes toward your meal. This is part of a new series called Fire Hot Fridays at Breakwater which I’m told is a continuation of their very successful musical series of Fire House Fridays/wine tastings last summer.  They plan to continue this fun series with  Steve Johnson  and other talented musicians through the summer. Special host for this event is Terry Sweeney.

The following week, the accomplished Vic Varner is bringing his bossa nova beats  and Jazz trio to Maggie’s Pub in Habersham onThursday July 8 at 6:30 p.m. where Richard Wilson will also be serving up Brazilian and Portuguese food and wine. Vic will be focusing on the songbook of Brazilian Jazz great Antonio Carlos Jobim. (“Girl From Ipanema” )and many other great beautiful and romantic bossa nova classics.

Sounds like a pretty jazzy 4th of July week for Beaufort!

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In Town This Week

By Lanier Laney

June 24, 2010

Luke Parker Bowles

Luke Parker Bowles who is the brother of Camilla Parker Bowles (aka Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall) and the brother-in-law of Prince Charles, future King of England is in town this week. Luke, who has a great sense of humor is producing a documentary on Pat Conroy and you will see his crew filming around town all week as they interview lots of Pat’s friends and former teachers.

Beaufort is about to be on the magazine stands once again as photographers from Southern Living (which has a readership of 16 million people) were in town for a story on the transformation of Carteret Street from dumpy to dreamy with photos of City Loft Hotel, Wren, and Breakwater Restaurants.  It’s the September issue and hits stands in August. Hopefully this will bring us some much needed tourists in the fall to bolster our local economy. Marianne and Steve Harrison (owners of the Rhett House)  had their beautiful home photographed for the same issue.

Speaking of tourism Matt McAlhaney, owner of City Loft Hotel, who has been an amazing nonstop cheerleader for Beaufort and tourism here got the Charleston Concierge Association to hold their Annual retreat here this week and the members that I talked to were all super impressed with Beaufort and how friendly folks are here.  They represent all the big hotels in Charleston and Kiawah and will be directing tourists our way in the future.

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Viva Las Divas!

By Lanier Laney

Deanna Bowdish and Moyor Joe Riley

Ripple

Congrats to our very own Deanna Bowdish who won an honorable mention (out of 115 artists exhibiting) at the recent Spoleto Art Show in Charleston for her piece entitled “Ripple #6″.   Thousands apply for the show and it is narrowed down to just 115, so this award is quite a win for her and the art community in Beaufort!  If you want to see the piece in person, it’s in the window of her gallery at 802 Bay St. (corner of Scott) in Beaufort.

At the Buenos Aires airport heading back to Beaufort are the Trask family at the airport with Peters red stag antlers wrapped.

The Return of Lovely Laura

Good news for all the many friends of the John and Laura Trask family.  They return this week from their long sojourn in Argentina with many exciting stories to tell of all the sights and sounds of Buenos Aires and the surrounding pampas.

They were all greatly missed and we look forward to seeing them around town again.  There is a ‘welcome home’ party in the bar at Breakwater on Friday for them.

I read in the Wall Street Journal that there is a strong correlation between fashion and the economy.  Seems that when the economy tanks and a recession sets in, women start wearing long skirts and shoes with no heels. But that when the economy starts going up again and coming back, that the skirts go short and high heels come back in fashion. The higher the stock market, the higher the heels.  I decided to see what was the trend in shoe styles (and the economy) in Beaufort the other night and take some pics of our lovely Divas.  By the looks of all the high heels suddenly popping up, our local economy is coming back strong!

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Wizard of Oz, BBQ Cook-Off and Aimar Birthday…What a Saturday!

By Wendy Pollitzer

June 10, 2010

What a weekend in Beaufort! I started my Saturday off with the most entertaining performance of the Wizard of Oz and its adorable cast of dancers, singers and pianists. These little angels deserve another round of applause from all the moms, dads, grandmas and grandpas that watched the sold-out show at Beaufort High. Congratulations to Deanna Kraszewski, founder of LowCountry School of Performing Arts for creating and directing such a fabulous show!

You’d think these girls were worn out, but no! I saw half of them at the Coosaw Point BBQ Cook-Off later in the afternoon having a ball on the inflatable water slide or in the pool at the Clubhouse. Maleia Everidge, Todd McDaniel, Christian Sherbert and Robert and Anne Gallant organized this event to benefit The Little Red Dog Foundation. I can only hope that it becomes an annual affair, because it was THE family social scene of the summer! Kids of all ages enjoyed great food, good company and groovy tunes played by the one and only, Ash Milner.

The evening ended with an elegant 80th Birthday party for Neal Aimar given by his daughters Sandra Myrick and Sharon McElveen and their husbands, John and Wilson. Neal and his wife, Roberta were all smiles as most of Neal’s good buddies came out to toast his life of 80 years. Most of them grew up with Aimar on the Old Point, and shared stories of yore all evening. It seems Neal and his brothers were quite the mischief makers, but charming nonetheless!  Brantley Harvey told a story about wanting to go on a long boat trip with Neal when they were 16. Harvey’s mother said to Neal, “I don’t know. Brantley is my only child, my only son.” Aimar repied, “That’s okay. If anything happens to him, I’m sure my mom will give you one of my brothers!”

Familiar Beaufort names, like VonHarten, Trask, Aimar, Pringle, Harvey, DeLoach, Kennedy, Chambers, Webb, Sams and even a Barnes from Georgia (Roy’s cousin, that is) crowded the living room as everyone circled around to honor the long time pharmacist.

The boys on The Point (and it was ALL boys as any long-timer will tell you) played on the back Green by day and the front Green by night during the summer and vice versa during the colder months. They all put a scrapbook together for Mr. Aimar reminiscing about the good ole’ days in Beaufort. Sandra was kind enough to loan it to me over the weekend, and I’ll tell you…that book is priceless and full of great memories.

It was an honor to be in the presence of so many people who have made Beaufort what it is today: still a small community rich with vivacious and unique personalities. You taught us well, and we appreciate it! Here’s to Old Beaufort!

Neal Aimar’s 80th Birthday

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Coosaw Point BBQ Cook-Off

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Beaufort in The Hamptons

By Lanier Laney

June 3, 2010

Well here I am, in the Hamptons on vacation in the historic town of Sag Harbor and it’s like being in ‘Beaufort North’.  It’s about the same number of people as downtown with beautiful shingled 18th century and 19th century houses looking out on a bay just like ours.

They don’t have as many restaurants as we have, but they still have a nice grocery store downtown and lots of interesting shops.   Madonna has bought two horse farms about 8 miles away in Bridgehampton and gossip here says she is planning on buying  the local Sag Harbor theater for performances and movies.  It seems when Madonna was just starting out 30 years ago, that she performed one of her first very  successful shows in Sag Harbor and is very fond of the place.  About 9 miles away, on the Atlantic side of Long Island is the beautiful East Hampton.  Actress Blythe Danner and daughter Gywneth Paltrow have a house there and supposedly Madonna and Gywneth who are good friends are planning on opening a gym somewhere around here together.

On my visit to East Hampton the other day I lunched at a very glamorous pizza place and had Ina Garten (the Barefoot Contessa) on one side of me and the designer Betsy Johnson across the room on the other side.   Talk  around town that day was how crazy acting Kelly Bensimone had been on a recent ‘Real Housewives of New York’ episode.  Kelly, I was told has a house down the street from the pizza parlor and about a mile away is ‘The Countess’s’ home ( from the same series).

Oh and in case you are wondering, prices are sky high here.  The other day at the American Hotel in Sag Harbor, lunch for two was $105 for two salads and just two glasses of wine.  The wines turned out to be $22 a glass. (Next time I will ask the price instead of instructing the waiter to ‘bring me a nice white’) but the food, wine, and atmosphere at least lived up to the price (sort of).

All in all, the Hamptons have proved to be just a gossipy as Beaufort.  With each weekend being flooded by New Yorkers, as if every weekend was Water Festival all summer long in Beaufort, then it is quiet during the week.    We  met some great people from Aiken at the table next to ours in a Vietnamese restaurant and while we were talking, a guy walked up and said “Hey, I’m from Kentucky and I haven’t seen this many madras shirts, and pants in one place since I attended the Carolina Cup in  Camden, South Carolina”   We all  laughed and toasted our homeland.

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Beaufort Academy Fish In a Whale of a Success!

May 27, 2010

Kudos to Beaufort Academy Fish In Committee Members for putting on a fabulous party at the Coosaw Point Crab Shack. Parents that helped put on this annual spring fundraiser were: Lesley Holladay, Liz O’Herron, Jessica Miller, Leigh Ann Pingree, Ziggy Poore, Louise Coleman, Bethany Byrne, Marjorie Gray, Wendi Lynn, Bradi Dinkins, Elizabeth McMillen, Richard Gray, Richard Pingree and Billy O’Herron.

Everyone enjoyed the band, Groove Eclectic and stayed on the dance floor for hours. The silent auction was huge and diverse; several partygoers circled the tent many times over signing up for items. And the live auction, mc’d by Terry Sweeney was a giant success!

I think most will concur that the Fish In was a nice change from the Pig Out. Great idea committee members! And good luck to all the fishermen putting lines in next weekend for the 1st Annual Cobia Tournament. If you’re still interested in participating, you can email Billy O’Herron at billy@beaufortfishing.com for more information. Also, registration forms are online at www.beaufortacademy.org.

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Breaking News around Town

By Lanier Laney

Terry Sweeney,  Co-Manager and Wine Director of Breakwater Restaurant since it opened last year at the new Carteret St. location has vacated his position to pursue several new television writing opportunities in Hollywood, (where he has been a writer, producer, and actor for the past 20 years) but he plans to stay in Beaufort and pursue other business interests here as well.  Said Sweeney  “I have so enjoyed working with owners Elizabeth Shaw, Gary Lang, and Donna Lang, they were just super and the kindest most generous people I’ve ever worked for.  I will miss all the great staff and wonderful customers and friends whom I got to see there every night. Although now instead of seating guests, they will often find me seated next to them, as Breakwater is one of my favorite places to eat and hang out in Beaufort”.

David Bromstad & Terry Sweeney

Pictured here with Terry is David Bromstad, star of HGTV’s  Color Splash.  Terry m.c.’d David’s very successful appearance at Grayco last Saturday, which almost 400 people attended.  David was incredibly fun and entertaining and gave attendees lots of great design tips during the Q&A section.  Maleia Everidge organized the well executed event forHerb Gray under an Atlantic Rental  tent in the parking lot.   I think David was a bit surprised at how large the turn out was and how welcoming everyone was for a small town like Beaufort.  He praised Grayco, Mythic paint (a great 100% non-toxic paint line with his signature colors in it that they carry) and City Loft Hotel where he stayed (he loved the design of the rooms!) and he praised the blackened mahi at Breakwater which he said was superb.    He had never been to the Lowcountry before and was wowed by it and promised to return.  He did an abstract painting during the second session that he left behind at Grayco to be raffled off over the next week and a half.  Tickets are just a dollar and all proceeds will go to our local Boys and Girl’s Club.  So head on down to Grayco and become a part of his kind generosity and you might just end up with a David Bromstad original painting for just a dollar!

The new Groupers Restaurant on Lady’s Island in the Marina is open and did packed business on Mother’s Day.  Remember popular Donnie Moona from his days at Saltus?  He’s the new manager and works with his parents Caesar & Sally Moona who own it.  The Chef is Jack Bush and bartender is Scott Hanske. Wonderful view over the water!  So glad they have revitalized this pretty spot that was closed for so long.

Speaking of revitalization, I’ve been hearing lots of comments from people around town about the great job The Greenery has been doing spiffing up all our public landscaping.   I heard they are also taking over the maintenance of Waterfront Park and have brought in a specialist just to improve the lawns.  Smart move with  the Water Festival coming up.  Also I’ve seen them cleaning up overgrown lots all around town that’s really improving the looks of whole neighborhoods.  Kudos to Jerry Ashmore who is the horticulturist/Supervisor overseeing work in Beaufort  for the Greenery and to the city for hiring them.

Best selling author Karen White was in town this week at another successful luncheon hosted by Bay St. Trading Co.’s  Lisa Estes.  Lisa has done an amazing job bringing top literary names to Beaufort with this ongoing series of luncheons at Saltus River Grill.  Karen was here promoting her newest novel ‘On Folly Beach’, a story of love, loss, and redemption, half of which takes place during the Folly Beach of 1942 when it was such a bustling soldier filled place that hosted big bands like Jimmy Dorsey on the pier and the early days of Shagging.  If you missed the event, I’m sure there are signed copies available at Lisa’s wonderful Bay St. store.

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An  Elegant Lowcountry Wedding

By Lanier Laney

May 13, 2010

James and Fripp Langford were happily married in a beautiful ceremony at First Presbyterian Church of Beaufort. The bride is the daughter of Amelia and Philip Cromer of Columbia.  All the men in the wedding party dressed in elegant blue seersucker suits. A bagpiper accompanied the couple into the reception and food was prepared by Debbi Covington of Beaufort. The couple danced the night away to the band Hi-FI Station from Ridgeland. Maleia Everidge did a great job as the event planner and Priscilla Trask was the wonderful floral designer.  They worked together to create a classically beautiful  Lowcountry wedding under a tent by the marsh. The reception was held at the home of Dr.and Mrs Charles Aimar at 313 Bayard Street, the grandparents of the bride.  The couple will honeymoon at the beach home Of Mr. & Mrs. William Trask.

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Penn Center’s 1862 Circle Gala

By Lanier Laney

May 6, 2010

Phylicia Rashad and her Family

Marie Leroy, Dr. Eleanor Barnwell, & Connie Gardner

Penn Center is recognized as one of the nations most significant historic institutions dedicated to preserving Gullah Geechee culture. The 1862 Circle, recognizes leaders who embody the spirit of Penn Center and who serve as national advocates for the enduring history and culture of the Sea Islands. The name celebrates the founding of Penn School in 1862.

Over 500 people attended the beautiful 2010 Gala this past weekend which inducted into membership Mary Inabinett Mack, philanthropist and first femal Chairperson of the Penn Center Board of Trustees, and Phylicia Rashad, renowned actor, singer, producer, and cultural preservationist, who helped preserve the South Carolina Brainerd Institute, a school for freed men opened in 1866 and for her outstanding achievements and creative endeavors in the arts.

Kudos to Marie Leroy, Dr. Eleanor Barnwell, and Connie Gardner for doing such a good job

organizing this great event.

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HBF’s ‘Lafayette Soiree’. Wow! What a great party!

By Lanier Laney

Apr. 29, 2010

You would think that an event entitled the ‘Lafayette Soiree’ by the Historic Beaufort Foundation would be a stuffy ‘high society’ bore. But it was anything but. It’s probably the best party I’ve been to in my 8 years in Beaufort.  Great job to co-chairs Frances and David Cherry and Maura Rhodin who along with Maleia Everidge, Cindy Collins, Bradi Dinkins, Karen Nuelle, Mellissa Florence created the magical evening. It was nearly perfect from beginning to end and quite beautiful to boot due to the peak of blooming gardens of Sam and Heather Vail and Nancy Law who own Bythewood House and Mike Rainey next door where the band and dance floor were set up on his croquet court.

We’ve got some fantastic dancers here in Beaufort like Paula and William Verity who could go on ‘Dancing With the Stars’ tomorrow and beat the pants off everyone. Deanna Bowdish even impressed the members of the fabulous funkadelic band Intensity from Orangeburg when she did ‘the worm’ across the entire dance floor. (‘The worm’ is a ‘dance’ whereby you propel yourself across the dance floor on your stomach, chest, and legs without using your arms, if you get the gist. AMAZING to watch. Bradi Dinkins also knew how to do ‘the worm’ and wanted to do a ‘worm off’ challenging Deanna. But Brady being the consummate southern’ lady said she held back and let Deanna have her ‘time in the sun.’  Everyone was wonderfully dressed, both men and women. There were a couple of standouts for ‘best dressed list’ status that I have to mention. Frances Stowe looked absolutely stunning in her white dress with multi colored stripes from New York. Maleia Everidge in her chic black dress from Saks Fifth Avenue was also a stand out.  Ginger Lachicotte Aimar in her red dress, Nancy Dennis in her black and white ensemble and gorgeous huge pearl necklace and diamond pin inherited from her mother looked wonderful. Marjorie Gray also looked ravishing, as did Chilton Simmons. Marlot McMichael looked gorgeous in a simple white dress that she picked up in Manhattan. As did Elizabeth McMillen in Tory Burch just to name a few.  Wow what a party, worth joining HBF for the opportunity to attend just this one party alone.

Kudos to all the board members and Board Chairman Pete Palmer for putting on such a great fun and well-organized event! I encourage everyone to sign up early for next year’s ‘Soiree’ as it’s one of the best party’s you can attend in Beaufort and as a non profit, the ticket price is 80% tax deductable and the donation goes to all the great work that HBF does preserving our beautiful city and county.

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Mint Museum Auxiliary Room to Bloom a Success

By Lanier Laney

Apr. 22, 2010

Bunny Williams

Charlotte Country Club

Janet Vogler, Marty Moore, & Peggy Reynolds

Margaret Ullrich, Margaret Switzer, Katie Charlbois, Susan Cole, Bunny Williams, Cathy Austin, Charlotte Wickham

Timothy Cohen and Debbie Timmerman

There is a big connection, as you probably know, between Beaufort and Charlotte. Lots of former Charlottonians like Liz and Billy O’Herron, Frances and Scott Stowe, Emma and Tim Roddey, and Dan and Louise Hodges live here to name just a few, and many more like Rich and Kim Steinbruck and Peggy and Wayne Reynolds have homes in both cities.  It’s a three and a half hour straight shot up the interstate and I went last week with other Beaufortonians to hear famed international interior designer Bunny Williams speak at a symposium at the Charlotte Country Club.  The event, held by the Mint Museum Auxiliary was sold out (450 beautifully dressed and coiffed women) and  was the largest group of people and most successful symposium they’ve ever had, raising over $40,000 in one day for the Mint Museum.   Bunny Williams, based out of Manhattan and Connecticut, who is originally from Charlottesville Va. was a great speaker and she gave pointers on design from her latest bestselling book called ‘Point of View’ which I highly recommend which gives you all her design secrets she has learned over the years.  This is her third book, ‘On Garden Style’, and ‘An Affair With a House’ were her first two books.  She also founded a garden store in Manhattan called Treillage with her husband, famed antiquarian John Rosselli (to whom Beaufortonian Mike Rainey has sold furniture).

Bunny and her husband just built a beautiful new home in the Dominican Republic next door to their good friends the Oscar De La Rentas. She also has a wonderful new line of limited edition furniture called Beeline Home (www.beelinehome.com), which you can see in person at No. Four Eleven in Savannah (www.numberfoureleven.com).

Kudos to the committee who made it all come together so beautifully (pictured) and who were so welcoming to all of us from Beaufort.   Keep an eye out for this great event next year.

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Editor’s Note: There are two Lowcountry Social Diaries this week. Please scroll down to see Open Land Trust Annual Luncheon for Members

A Jolly Good Time

By Lanier Laney

Apr. 15, 2010

Jim and Josette Grimsley gave the most beautiful Southern wedding this past weekend I think I’ve ever been to for their very lovely daughter Margaret. It started at Saint Helena Church and proceeded to three tents on the grounds of Marshlands overlooking the water on an incredibly beautiful spring day. 82 Brits came from England to attend the event including friends of the husband, who is Head of the Welsh Guard. (aka Prince Charles of Wales’ Welsh Guard)! The reception was done in ‘the English style,’ 3:30 to 10, with several servings of food and a band change at 6.  The English girls sported fetching hats and some of the men had tartan pants with their very formal cut away morning coats and vests.  I spoke with London fashion designer Anna Wynne-Williams who said she sells her clothes to ‘minor royalty’ (don’t you just love that term!!) “I want to move to Beaufort right now, today” she said. “It’s like a lovely English village with sunshine and the people are so welcoming and friendly and sophisticated”.

Kudos to Ashley Rhodes who did such a great job doing the Grimsley wedding and also the equally spectacular rehearsal dinner of Nick Johnson & Dixie Lanier at Breakwater Restaurant.

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Open Land Trust Annual Luncheon for Members

By Lanier Laney

Apr. 15, 2010

Kudos to all the people who donated land to save what is so special about our beautiful Beaufort , Hampton and Bamburg Counties and special thanks to all the members and volunteers of Open Land Trust for preserving a beautiful future for our children’s children.

13,000 Acres Protected and Counting…

2009 was an exciting year for land conservation in Beaufort County. The Open Land Trust negotiated 13 easements and two fee simple donations in Beaufort and the surrounding Counties. The Trust ventured into new territory, protecting property for the first time on Hilton Head Island, Hampton County and Bamburg County.

Conservation Easements

-Clarendon Plantation-Phase I & II, 583 acres along the marshes of Let Out Creek, located partially within the existing ―AICUZ‖ surrounding MCAS Beaufort.

-Linden Plantation-Einar and Carolyn Trosdal-54 acres along the May River in Bluffton.

-South Forest Beach-30 acres of beach front property on Hilton Head Island.

-Woodlands Plantation I-Albert Oliphant-1030 acres along the Edisto River in Bamburg County.

-Woodlands Plantation II-Mary Bollin Oliphant-300 acres along the Edisto River in Bamburg County.

-Woodlands Plantation III-Mary Simms Furman Oliphant-301 acres along the Edisto River in Bamburg County.

-Woodlands Plantation IV-W.G. Simms Oliphant, Jr.-136 acres along the Edisto River, Bamburg County.

-Woodlands Plantation-Briarpatch-Dr. Don and Nancy King, 689 acres along the Edisto River in Bamburg County.

- The Sanctuary at Cypress Bay Dr. Skeet and Gail Burris-135 acres associated with the Salkehatchie River Basin in Hampton County.

- Crooked Creek at Cypress Bay-Dr. Skeet and Gail Burris-35 acres associated with the Salkehatchie River Basin in Hampton County.

-White Oak at Cypress Bay– Dr. Skeet and Gail Burris-43 acres associated with the Salkehatchie River Basin in Hampton County.

Fee Simple Donations

Cane Island Hummocks-Four islands located off of Upper Cane Island by the Estate of Flora Trask.

Lucy Creek: River Place Tract-13 acres along the marshes of Lucy Creek donated by Wallace Newcomb.

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Beaufortonian to Meet Queen of England This Summer

By Lanier Laney

Apr. 8, 2010

Patrick McMichael, the future Sir Ivan McMichael, and Marlot McMichael

Patrick and Marlot McMichael were in Breakwater Restaurant celebrating with Patrick’s dad Ivan McMichael who recently learned he is going to be knighted on July 2nd by Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace.  Patrick will accompany him and get to meet the Queen.  Apparently the future ‘Sir Ivan’ has been quite a prominent award winning journalist for the past 50 years at Ireland’s biggest newspapers. Ivan spent much of his life in the courtrooms of Ireland including covering Ireland’s version of the Supreme Court.  Said Ivan with a smile “Why me when there are others is perhaps because I’ve served the equivalent of many life sentences (sitting next to criminals in the courtroom) and me an innocent!”  Here are some pics from that night. Congrats to Patrick’s ‘Sir Dad’.

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Pimm’s Cup Porch Party at Marshlands

By Lanier Laney

Apr. 8, 2010

Porch parties are a Beaufort tradition in the Spring as everyone gets together for a few humidity free months to celebrate the end of winter and enjoy all the blooming gardens.  The season got kicked off this past Monday with New Yorker’s Noel Sloan and  Leonard Straus hosting a Pimm’s Cup party on the porches of Marshlands,  one of Beaufort’s  most beautiful homes, owned by the Brantley Harveys on the water on the Point.

An English summer afternoon drink. Pimm’s Cup, is a gin based drink with 7-up, lemonade, mint, and cucumbers, which is traditionally drunk at Wimbledon and the beginning of Cowes Week, England’s most famous 8-day Yacht Regatta on the Isle of Wight.  Queen Elizabeth presents the Queens Cup to the winner.  And it certainly felt like being on a yacht with the wonderful breeze coming off the water through Marshland’s wide porches.  I spoke with Anne Audroue who has a home in France and she said that the Monday after Easter is a national holiday there called ‘Lundi de Paques’ and that everyone has  parties.  So Beaufort was both very English and French that day.  Here are some pics of that colorful porch party for you.

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There is no Lowcountry Social Diary for the week of April 1-April 7  in order to make room for the T.I.N. Favorites.

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Pink Ice Ball an Elegant Success

By Lanier Laney

Mar. 25, 2010

Thomas Miles and Event Chair Constance Gardner

AKA President Dionne Young and her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Leroy Blackshear

Now in its 14th successful year, the Alpha Kappa Alpha’s ‘Pink Ice Ball’ is one of the premiere Charity Events in Beaufort County.  All funds from this event are used to create Scholarships for deserving high school students in Beaufort & Jasper Counties.   Kudos to the committee and all the volunteers who created such a beautifully decorated event in the ballroom at the Hampton Hall Club House at the Hampton Hall Community in Bluffton.  Wonderful music and a great show was provided by the Infinity Show Band from Atlanta and the food in the Club house was superb.

Event Chair Person (now for the 14th year in a row) Constance Gardner, deserves major appreciation for putting together such a great night for all who attended once again and for all the scholarship money that has been raised over the years.  She and her husband Roland Gardner have done so much for our community in so many areas; it’s an honor to know them.

The President of Alpha Kappa Alpha isDionne Young and she attended with her parents  Mr. and Mrs. Leroy Blackshear. Special thanks to her and her entire organization, and all who attended, for giving back to the community in such a beautiful way.

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Daffodil U-Pic for Charity a Blooming Success!

Mar. 18, 2010

Everyone had a great time! It was a beautiful day.  Many thanks to the Trask family who kindly donated blooming daffodils to benefit the Beaufort County Open Land Trust, Friends of Caroline Hospice, Good Neighbor Medical Clinic, Beaufort Academy, and Riverview Charter School. Clark and Evy Trask, along with Edward Dukes and Preston Pruitt worked hard to make it all happen.

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Beaufort Gives Lee Brothers a Big Welcome

by Lanier Laney

Mar. 11, 2010

Ted Lee, Chef Gary Lang, Chef Beth Shaw, Matt Lee

About 9 years ago when I was living in Los Angeles, the first time Beaufort ever got on my radar as a fun quirky place was from an article I had read in Coastal Living magazine written by the Lee Brothers about the Lowcountry and restaurants like Harold’s Country Club and dishes like Frogmore stew.  I also started buying from their Boiled Peanuts catalog for an authentic taste of the Lowcountry.  Over the years they have championed Lowcountry cuisine in countless magazine articles and in the New York Times where they are now columnists.  And won the James Beard Award for best cookbook of the year with their first cookbook on Lowcountry food and its history.  Last week Beaufortonians ‘gave back’ in a big way at two events where over 200 copies of their new cookbook, Simple Fresh Southern, Knockout Dishes with Down-Home Flavor were sold to very appreciative fans.

Lisa Estes of Bay Street Trading Company needs to be credited for getting the Lees to come here, as Beaufort was not on their book tour schedule.   (I guess the publishing company thinks we are too small a town). Well you know what? They sold more books here than any other city so far!  Way to go, Beaufort!  Plus the Lees loved their visit here and thought Beaufort was filled with fun, & very interesting people.  Lisa created a luncheon event for the Lees at Saltus River Grill, that sold out.  I heard that Chief Brian K. Walters food was wonderful.

Later that evening was another reception and book signing for them at Peggy Reynold’s gorgeous home on the bay that was packed with well-wishers.  Here are some photos from that event for you.

Afterwards the Lees ate dinner at Breakwater Restaurant with Wine Director Terry Sweeney, and Matt’s wife, Gia and adorable new baby, Arthur.  After sampling many dishes including a Cajun potato chip crusted trigger fish, they pronounced the food ‘outstanding’.  Chef Gary Lang and Chef Beth Shaw told the Lees how the Lee’s first cookbook on Low Country cooking had influenced them in the creation of the new Breakwater’s menu to make it more Lowcountry and local fresh produce oriented.  Ted Lee talked about how Southern food is ‘all the rage’ in New York City’s top restaurants now which started first with grits a few years back, last year  Southern fried chicken was all the rage, and this year, it’s boiled peanuts.  He said one Chef takes boiled peanuts, fries them in lard, then cuts them up (crispy shell and all) and serves a little pile of them on little plates for $6 a pop.

Matt McAlhaney put the Lees up in his posh new hotel City Loft which the Lee’s also loved.  They were genuinely surprised at Beaufort’s combination of sophisticated restaurants and a chic hotel, combined with non-pretentious fun people.   Sort of the best of small town and big city together. They had a great trip here and were so glad they had come and asked me to thank all the wonderful people here in Beaufort who made them feel so welcome!

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JSLB’s Pig Pickin’ by the Pluff Mud a success

Mar. 11, 2010

The Junior Service League of Beaufort hosted its annual BBQ to benefit The Boys and Girls Club if the Lowcountry Saturday night at Kate Gleason Park behind Beaufort Memorial Hospital. BBQ was provided by Dukes and Common Ground entertained.

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Save the Green event a success!

by Lanier Laney Mar 4, 2010

Pat Conroy scored a big one for Beaufort County’s Open Land Trust this past weekend. He literally ‘saved The Green’ with his sold out fundraiser at the USC Beaufort Performing Arts Center. He may be America’s greatest living novelist, but he is also an incredible extemporaneous speaker.  I was personally awestruck along with the other attendees as he recounted his memories related to the Green. What an awesome speaker is he!  Beaufort is blessed to have him as such a fan of our community. Open Land Trust had an absolutely beautiful party on The Green under a tent after after Pat spoke . Jana Fredrick with Occasions Event Design volunteered all her time and definitely deserves a shout out.  Her business is brand new and she did an absolutely amazing job. Also kudos to the fabulous Mary Trask and Elizabeth Johnson and Ann Bluntzer. Mary was recently appointed BCOLT Board Member to help with fundraising campaigns and she has given a lot of time to this project and she and Elizabeth and Ann deserve the credit for getting these funds raised to save The Green in the tough economic climate we are currently enduring. Director Ann Bluntzer handled the whole evening with her usual great style, grace, and calm. Another great job for OLT, Ann! Thanks Pat and thanks to  all the great folks  who attended the event  for saving The Green from condos. You really made a difference in the future of Beaufort! This is really Beaufort at it’s best. If you are interested in preserving and protecting the natural beauty of The Lowcountry then I strongly urge you to join Open Land Trust and or contribute at www.openlandtrust.com just to enjoy great remarkable events like this one!

Another great event coming up that supports the Open Land Trust and other great charities is the U-Pick Daffodil Family Festival hosted by Evy and Clark Trask. Imagine acres and acres of blooming daffodils!  It’s a once -a-year-miracle and if you’ve never been I strongly urge you to go. It’s a sight that will take your breath away and officially launches spring in the Lowcountry:

U-Pick Daffodils Family Festival at the Cane Island Daffodil Farm (past Secession Golf on left, before Cat island); 11am to 4pm  Saturday March 13 & Sunday March 14.

Bring a picnic and a bucket for the flowers. Live Music Saturday! Donations per person: $5-$10-$20-you decide.  All proceeds to benefit: Beaufort County Open Land Trust, Friends of Caroline Hospice, Good Neighbor Medical Clinic, Beaufort Academy and Riverview Charter School.

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Nights Filled with Stars

Feb. 25, 2010

Wow! What a week of great parties in Beaufort.  I highly recommend joining the Beaufort Film Society if only for the opening party and Awards Gala during the Film Festival alone.  Last Thursdays opening party was under a beautiful grand tent (Amazing Rentals) at the Beaufort Inn’s new Tabby Wedding Garden.  Wonderful food prepared by Southern Grace’s Chef Christopher Hewitt (New Orlean’s grits and grillades, chicken Cordon blue with a tart cherry sauce and fried sushi-yum!).  With all wine and beer donated by Breakwater Restaurant.

A beautifully dressed group of over 225 Beaufortonians and 24 visiting film makers from around the world watched the lovely Blythe Danner arrive with Michael O’Keefe and be interviewed by TV news crews. Blythe could not have been more gracious and easily talked with many of her old friends from Beaufort whom she got to know from shooting three movies here. “I think Beaufort has the nicest, kindest people of any town I’ve ever been to” said Blythe.  Michael O’Keefe, who is up for a major TV role said “I hope I get it just so I can have the money to buy a second house here.”

Festival Founder and Director Ron Tucker welcomed the film makers to Beaufort and encouraged them to make their future films here as did Mayor Billy Keyserling who welcomed them also.  Jered and Deanna Kraszewski stood out as best dressed couple of that exciting evening.

On Friday was a spectacular private party at Hilda Holstein‘s Tidalholm hosted by her grand daughter Caroline Hoogenboom and her husband Deniz Mazlum.  ‘Old Guard’ Beaufort turned out to welcome Blythe Danner back to town.  Pat Conroy was there with his lovely novelist wife Cassandra King and Pat got to reunite with Blythe after 30 years.  Blythe played Pat’s mother in The Great Santini which was filmed at Tidalholm and Michael O’Keefe who was also there played Pat (aka Ben Meechum) in the movie.  Later when the three dined together in the wine room at Breakwater, they chatted about their experience filming Santini with actor Robert Duvall.  As fierce as Duval portrayed Conroy’s dad in the movie, Pat stated that his brothers and sisters thought he was a wimp compared to their real father. Blythe commented that Duvall, in the pivotal basketball court scene with Michael, threw the basketball hard at her stomach without warning her, but she didn’t mind because the camera caught her real honest reaction, “and that’s what actors are always trying to achieve” said Blythe.

Saturday was the Awards Gala at USCB Performing Arts Center thanks to Bonnie Hargrove and Chancellor Jane Upshaw and dozens of dedicated volunteers. It was a ‘magical evening’ said Pat Conroy and he was moved by the artistry of the assembled film makers who won awards and also by the heart felt praise of Michael and Blythe for him.  Michael stated that Pat had “launched my career” & Blythe added that Pat “gave me the greatest role of my life” (Santini).  Pat returned the love with beautiful and touching comments about Blythe and Michael.   And all three praised Beaufort to the high heavens.  Said Blythe “My daughther Gwinnie (Gwyneth Paltrow) says her fondest childhood memories are of her time spent living in Beaufort, running free, digging in the backyard of our grey house on the Point” (which she rented while here filming three movies).

Kudos to all the  volunteers who worked tirelessly throughout the three days of the festival and did such a great job making sure all the screenings of parties came off so smoothly so that all of our international film makers and visiting movie stars saw Beaufort in it’s best light. Even the weather pitched in to help. It turned from Winter to Spring in the middle of the festival.

Special thanks to Blythe’s friends Frances Brewer and Mary Patrick who along with Ivey Liipfert did a fantastic job entertaining Blythe while here.  “I had an absolutely marvelous time in Beaufort” said Blythe to me.  She is now enroute to Nashville to visit her daughter who is filming a movie with Tim McGraw.

Rebecca Berry should be singled out for her non stop hard (but always cheerful) work for the Film Festival and Ron Tucker for having the vision to start it in the first place and growing it bigger and bigger each year. And also to all the Inns that donated rooms to the film makers this year which made so many more come to the festival this year than previous years. They include Rhett House Inn, City Loft Hotel, Beaufort Inn, Quality Inn at Town Center, Cuthbert House Inn.

Oops!  In my column last week on The Fabulous Liipfert’s, many folks pointed out to me that I had inadvertantly left off the first name of Mrs. Liipfert.  It’s Ivey. Sorry about that Ivey!

The Fabulous Liipfert’s

by Lanier Laney

Feb. 18, 2010

Worth and Ivey Liipfert

No that’s not a misspelling, the last name has two ii’s. So many of the old guard in Beaufort asked me who was the attractive young couple that hosted a Valentine dinner that I had written about last week that I decided to devote a whole column to them. He’s from Charleston, Worth Liipfert is

Worth the fifth I think. She’s old Florence.  He’s a fantastic lawyer and on the board of Friends of Caroline Hospice. She was the youngest Miss Teen South Carolina. But unlike the recent ones, she’s got brains with the beauty. She’s head of sponsorship for the Marine Corps Community Services (aka she runs the Air Show) and also  ran the Beaufort International Film Festival for the Festival when she worked for the Chamber. She saved it one year when the power went out, she ran down to Grayco and rented a generator and literally saved the day of screenings. They live in a historic house that they redid beautifully on the Point. And by the way, Ivey started that whole 20 something kickball thing which ‘kicks off’ in early summer and you see about a hundred of them after the game downtown. They are two really great unpretentious funny people that I have been lucky to get to know in my travels on the ‘Social Scene’ in Beaufort. So there, you have the whole story!

Valentine Ball Dinner

Parties a Hit

by Lanier Laney

Feb. 11, 2010

Last weekend was the fabulous Valentine Ball and a good time was had by all. Before the ball are

lots of elegant dinner parties that everyone attends. And they are usually hosted by several sponsors.  I

attended several of them and got pics for you of all the beautifully dressed folks.  I was proud of Beaufort

as every place I went was Town and Country perfect!  The first dinner party I went to was held in a barn

on St. Helena Island and all the guests were asked to wear boots because of the dirt floor. That’s our cover shot this week of

all the ‘ladies’ with their formal gowns and cowboy boots.  It was a great party and beautifully decorated with glowing candles

everywhere.  It was neat to see all that formal wear ‘in a barn!’ They had over 40 people attend and the great hosts were

Chilton and Heath Simmons, Ryan and DJ Christian, Virginia and Scott Rhodes, Ziggy and Richard Poore,

Leigh Ann and Richard Pingree, Bradi and Chip Dinkins, PlusWendi and Phillip Lynn. Great job to you all!

The next party I went to was Ivey and Worth Liipfert’s chic dinner in their house on the Point which they hosted with

Ashley and Carson Twombley.  They had a butler serving

guests and it was pitch perfectly done.

After that was the eye poppingly beautiful Tidalholm (aka The

Big Chill House where The Great Santini was also filmed) hosted

by Hilda Holstein.  Imagine acres of oriental carpets, beautiful

camellias in silver vases,  crystal and gorgeous food prepared by

Southern Graces. Beaufort hospital CEO Rick Toomey was

Rick Toomey was

Rick Toomey

there with the beautiful Nancy Hawes.

I last visited Beth and Gene Grace’s house, also on the Point,

which is one of the most beautifully decorated, classic romantic

southern homes I’ve ever been in.  They did such a great job; I’m

sure all their guests were late for the ball as they seemed to have no

intention of leaving when I was there after 9 p.m. The great hosts

were Beth & Gene Grace, Peggy & Wayne Reynolds,Kathy

Tupper & John Horton.

Kudos to all the people that put so much work into making all

the dinner parties so great that night.  And for the people that

attended them.  Our Emergency Room will be all better for the

whole community because of your good work!

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Lowcountry Social Diary

by Lanier Laney

Feb. 4, 2010

Historic Beaufort Foundation’s oyster roast at Tombee Plantation was a big success!  It wasn’t too cold and there was a big turn out for the fundraiser. Here are some pics from the event. Kudos to all the hardworking volunteers who pulled it off. Here’s an inside tip, I heard from Donna Lang that wednesday nights at Breakwater has been redubbed ‘You Go Girl! Wednesday’  with all martini’s and cosmos only $4 all night for the ‘ladies’. Sounds like Wednesday nights just got interesting.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The ‘Lady’ in the black hat

by Carol Boone  - Dec 30, 2009

In 1995, The Beaufort Garden Club initiated what has now become one of the club’s most anticipated “community interest” projects … Garden-A-Day!  This is a week-long garden tour event during National Garden Week every June, with a different garden opened each day, to be enjoyed by the public free of charge! This annual endeavor requires huge membership support. All club women are expected to participate.

With 2009 being the garden club’s “75th” landmark year of celebration, I wanted to contribute something special for this year’s Garden-A-Day theme … “75 YEARS AND COUNTING!”

I offered to design a “vintage” black straw hat embellished with oversized cerise roses and rose buds … emulating the style of chapeau that Beaufort Garden Club women would have gleefully dunned at their annual garden parties in the thirties! The “old fashioned” intent was to promote interest in the up-coming “75th Anniversary” of the Beaufort Garden Club.

The hat rested upon a sophisticated head form accessorized with blue and gold beaded earrings, a blue, black, and white silk floral scarf, a long, blue beaded necklace and a small blue brooch. Our garden club ‘Lady’ was definitely “in vogue” for a 1930’s garden party and was poised at the Garden-A-Day sign-in table to welcome guests as they arrived at the designated gardens each morning.

Five months passed, and on October 23 our club celebrated its 75-year legacy.  While the anniversary garden party was in full swing at the Waterfront Park Pavilion on that special day … at the Verdier House on Bay Street, the ‘Lady’ was presiding over The Beaufort Garden Club’s “75 Year Legacy … 1934 – 2009” display.

This wonderful collection of club photographs, articles, brochures, Certificates of Appreciation from the Department of the Navy and USO for the members’ volunteer efforts during World War II, and booklets spanning 75 years of service to the Beaufort community … all were appreciated by visitors and Beaufortonians alike as they enjoyed various aspects of the town’s exciting “Fall Festival of House & Gardens” weekend.

At this juncture, in no way was the ‘Lady’ ready to retire to a closet shelf!  Fate was kind as the weekend’s activities drew to a close. Evan R. Thompson, Executive Director of the Historic Beaufort Foundation, asked if the Garden Club would consider placing the display in the former Lipsitz storefront display window, where it could be enjoyed by even more visitors and passers-by strolling down Bay Street. The Beaufort Garden Club was more than happy to oblige!

But here’s where it gets interesting … The ‘Lady’s’ creation was made possible with a hand-me-down black hat and some old, yet lovely, out-dated jewelry from a dear friend.  Recently, that generous neighbor had company visiting her from Indiana.  As the two women were shopping on Bay Street, they spotted The Beaufort Garden Club’s “75th. Anniversary” display and the ‘Lady’ in the black hat in Lipsitz window.

It was then that the woman from Indiana paused, turned to my friend and said … “Those beads that the ‘Lady’ is wearing … I gave them to you as a gift years ago!”  Realizing that the friend’s eagle-eye observation was “spot-on,” both women burst into laughter.  Neither of them could believe the coincidence!  The best part is … this is a true story!  And what an embellished “tale” can be told by the visitor from Indiana about her jaunt to historic Beaufort and her “connection” to the ‘Lady’ in the black hat!

So, why not consider taking a leisurely stroll down Bay Street yourself, or with guests who might be visiting for the holidays, and check out The Beaufort Garden Club’s 75-year legacy display in Lipsitz window?

Oh, and by all means, say “hello” to the Lady in the black hat. Who knows … she may even “wink” back!

________________________________________________________________________________

Social Diary – Dec 10, 2009

by Lanier Laney

No sir, your wife’s not crazy!

A husband and wife stopped me on Bay Street and the husband jokingly claimed that his wife was ‘crazy’ and ‘seeing things’ because she insisted she had almost bumped into the legendary actor and director Robert Redford at Publix on Lady’s Island of all places buying a bottle of wine last week.  “I can’t get my husband to believe me!” said the angry wife while the husband just rolled his eyes.

Well I confirmed to them (and anyone else who might have thought they were seeing things) that yes, Robert Redford was on Lady’s Island that night attending a dinner party and would have had to pass by Publix.  (But I’ve been asked to not reveal the details of the party, so I will respect their wishes).  Redford has been directing a movie in Savannah this past month and it wraps in two weeks.  (By the way, he’s not a stranger to Beaufort, having stayed at the Rhett House on another visit.)   That particular night, if he had gone for an after dinner drink downtown, he would have bumped into several other Hollywood actors who were dining at Breakwater in the wine cellar in a big entourage with movie mogul Joel Silver (Die Hard, Matrix etc.).  After dinner, one of those young actors allegedly stopped and started chatting up a local girl.   “Should I know who you are?” asked the girl after he started talking about his life in Hollywood.  “Not yet, but you will” smiled the young man in response.  (As I guess will the rest of us if he’s in one of Joel Silver’s blockbusters!)

Festival of Trees a big success

If you want to get the Christmas Spirit fast, drop by and check out all the beautiful Christmas trees at the Festival of Trees at the Charles Brown Center (formerly Green St. gym corner of Hamar) for the next few days.  Kudos to all the people who made these wonderful trees possible!  Everyone from business co-workers, to schools, to organizations, to whole neighborhoods joined together to provide trees for this worthy fundraiser which benefits Friends of Caroline Hospice. The Festival is the largest fundraiser for Friends of Caroline Hospice, with 100% of these funds going directly to them to help continue to provide free care and volunteer services offering hope, encouragement and comfort to those living with life-threatening illness.

The Honorary Chairs of this year’s Festival are Dr. and Mrs. Lucius Laffitte and Dr. and Mrs. Clark Trask.  Both the Laffittes and the Trasks have been involved with the Festival previously, and they are excited to serve as the Honorary Chairs saying “We are grateful for Friends of Caroline Hospice.  As physicians, we greatly appreciate the value they provide patients, their caregivers and their families by providing free medical care and comfort, as well as free specialized support.  Festival of Trees is the single most effective way to raise money for Friends of Caroline Hospice, and we are honored to be a part of this cherished tradition.”

This year Volunteer Chairs are Mr. and Mrs. Jack Worrell.  The Best of Show award went to Sally Mitchell of Carolina Containers for her wonderful Christmas tree as a Santa fisherman with the title “oh Come All Ye Fishful”

The trees will be viewable through Saturday,  there are lunches available from Debbie Covington, pancake breakfast and photo op with Santa, lots of gift and gourmet items for sale, including a raffle for a beautiful quilt by the Bobbins of Sea Island quilters.  Best of all, the trees themselves are for sale.  So if you want a fully decorated 6 to 9 foot tree with all the ornaments for just $40, to $125 then come by and choose from among the many gorgeous and clever ones on display!

Evy Trask said to me to be sure and say how grateful they all are to the hundreds of hard working volunteers and generous hearted sponsors without whom this event would not have happened.  And that the money raised is vital help to the ongoing daily operation of the hospice and all the people it helps especially during these trying economic times.

So to all the Beaufortonians who bought tickets to the event, the sponsors, food vendors, musicians, and all the many volunteers and business, school,  neighborhood, and other groups who donated their time, creativity and efforts for this wonderful event, you deserve a big heart felt THANK YOU!

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